Here’s a relief: Steve Jobs is still making product decisions at Apple, people familiar with the matter tell the Wall Street Journal. And at least some folks at the company still expect him to return in June.
Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook runs the day-to-day operations at Apple, these people say. But Mr. Jobs has continued to work on the company’s most important strategies and products from home, they say. He regularly reviews products and product plans, and was particularly involved in the user interface of the new iPhone operating system that Apple unveiled last month, these people say.
Apple co-founder Mr. Jobs, who is considered the company’s creative leader, is also involved in the development of future projects, they say. People privy to the company’s strategy say Apple is working on new iPhone models and a portable device that is smaller than its current laptop computers but bigger than the iPhone or iPod Touch.
And this part’s even better:
People familiar with Apple’s operations say they still expect to see Mr. Jobs return in June. Some of these people also say members of Apple’s board of directors are monitoring the situation directly, communicating regularly with Mr. Jobs’s physicians.
First, this suggests that Apple’s board isn’t asleep or in denial, which it was on this topic for years. Second, it suggests that Apple’s board has finally acknowledged that this is not a “private matter.” Third, it suggests that Steve’s doctors aren’t saying something terribly alarming, or we’d likely have heard about it. (Apple’s board may be in awe of Steve Jobs and scared he’ll kick them out of the coolest club they’ve ever been members of, but they also presumably don’t want to get sued for fraud.)
Meanwhile, day-to-day operations at the company apparently haven’t changed:
People inside the company, business partners and others who are familiar with the situation say life at the Cupertino, Calif., company remains much the same as it did before.
Those at other corporations who deal with the company also say their interactions with Apple haven’t changed. Mr. Cook, who had already been handling most of Apple’s day-to-day operations, has kept tight control over the company, say business partners and those inside Apple.
According to Shaw Wu, an analyst at Kaufman Bros. cited in the story, most investors expect that Steve will hand the CEO slot to Tim Cook and recede into a role as Chairman. As long as it looks as though Steve will be able to continue to be Steve for many more years, investors won’t have a problem with that.
Read the whole WSJ article here >
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