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Speculation arises after Jobs shares stage at event

updated 08:30 pm EDT, Thu October 16, 2008

Jobs event speculation

Apple's inclusion of executives alongside Steve Jobs at the MacBook presentation has incited speculation that the company is preparing for his departure, according to CNET News. In the past, many Apple events have primarily focused on the famous CEO, who has been able to speak for hours and cover all of the details. Although some of the previous keynotes have been shared with other executives, the inclusion of the company COO, Tim Cook, and Senior VP of Industrial Design, Jonathan Ive, in the most recent event has drawn particular attention.

After only a minute into the presentation, Jobs handed the torch to Tim Cook, who presented the "state of the Mac," highlighting the contributing factors to the strength of the Mac brand. Steve came back on just to introduce Ive, who spent his time reviewing the background and benefits of the aluminum enclosure. The CEO finally came back onstage to showcase the new MacBooks, finally ending with a video that focused on the new MacBooks and interviews with various division leaders.

Steve spent roughly 27 minutes talking, which was very close to the combined time from the other two executives. Cook was wearing a collared black button shirt and blue jeans, a color scheme matching the standard black turtle neck and jeans that Steve always wears. Ive was dressed similarly, with a dark shirt and jeans, but with a younger look and untucked shirt.

The color coordination could be viewed as intentional, causing viewers to subconsciously put the two men at the same power level, to build up the "next in line." While this theory can't be ruled out, the company is likely trying to show itself as more than just Steve Jobs, even if he doesn't plan on leaving anytime soon.

The CEO's health troubles culminated in 2004 when he went through surgery to treat a rare form of pancreatic cancer. His unusually thin appearance recently has lead to suggestions that his cancer has returned, although he has denied the claims. Bloomberg added to the chaos of the matter by accidentally publishing an unfinished obituary, although it is not uncommon for news outlets to have templates ready for public figures regardless of their health.

People close to Jobs reported that he had undergone another surgical procedure this year to remedy the problem that was causing the weight loss, although they declined to identify themselves because they were not authorized to speak about his health. He has explained the problem as nutritional, resulting from the cancer treatment instead of a recurrence.

Repeated requests by the press and investors to know more details of the CEO's health status have been refused, with the issue called "a private matter." Although he has not provided any specific details, he joked about the obituary during the September 9th event tried to keep a humorous tone at the MacBook event by asking the attendees to not ask about his health or his blood pressure would go up, while the screen behind him read "110/70- Steve's blood pressure."

Although Jobs' presence has given investors confidence that the company has strong leadership, the association between Apple and its current CEO could be viewed as too deep. When investors drove down AAPL stock this year just simply based on his health appearance, the company may have decided to prioritize changing its image. There is a possibility that speculative traders used the fragile situation to their advantage by posting a fake story that claimed Jobs suffered a major heart attack, which the SEC is currently investigating.

The keynote MacBook event still had the "rockstar" CEO presenting the new products, but it showed that other people inside the company might be just as important. Tim Cook provided the fundamentals of why the Mac brand works and keeps on growing, while Ive showed that the design and engineering teams could produce new innovations.

by MacNN Staff



  1. very

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just like $800 MacBook

    "Let's make stuff up and run with it."
    Gizmodo started one, and now CNET picked it up.
    This "news" is just as credible as the $800 Apple notebook.

    This is a new Apple tactics to show the investors and pseudo-journalists that Apple is not run solely by Steve Jobs.

  1. rtbarry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    he does look...

    ...skinny as h***. but then so does cook. i think Ive has been nibbling on both of them.

  1. dimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's Jony, not Jonathan. He gave that name up after he was done designing toilets.

    I think this is a good move for Apple: showing that the company is not just one figurehead.

  1. scottnichol

    Joined: Dec 1969


    if they didn't do this...

    you know, this is probably just good corporate policy. years down the road when people look back at these actions, they'll realize that they had everything figured out.

    if i had to guess, they're really just trying to ease out the close association of a sucessful product launch and the fact that Jobs was the one who presented it.

    as much as you'd like to believe that everything that comes out of apple was Jobs' creation, its so much more than that. there are so many other people that help give birth to those products.

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    ...IF IT BLEEDS... leads...

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Jobs hogs the stage, he's an egomaniac control freak. Jobs shares the stage, he's on his way out.

    Please, just tell us what you want him to do!

  1. chadpengar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not the first

    I've seen Ives on stage and probably other VPs during Stevenotes. Mostly at WWDC which is where I tend to see him. This is not the first time.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This is not the first time Jobs has passed the remote, I clearly remember this occurring a couple of years ago, though at that time I think it WAS the cancer thing. Seriously, at this point I think Jobs health is just news and news group latch on to it. News Flash, Jobs wiped his nose, Apple is DOOMED. News Flash, Jobs cleared his throat, SELL SELL SELL!

    I really don't think Jobs plans on leaving, I really think he loves what he's doing, besides, he's never been this close to taking back the PC market, with Jobs legendary ego, I think he won't be satisfied until he's taken back 50% of the market and put M$ on shaky ground.

    And if Jobs does want to retire, h***, he deserves it, and I really do believe the fundamentals of "Jobs" will continue to exist at least into the foreseeable future with the group that'll take over. Hey, maybe Steve and make a commercial with Jerry, something like Steve just lobbing a brick into Jerry's head, ah what a send off :)

  1. psdenno

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Slider wrote:

    "I think he won't be satisfied until he's taken back 50% of the market and put M$ on shaky ground."

    Actually, I think the plan is to buy Dell and rename it Jobs. Remember that you heard it here first, not on CNET.

  1. chas_m




    Jobs has shared the stage with other execs MANY times, including times when his health was not in doubt. h***, he shared the stage with BILL GATES (via video) once!

    A long parade of execs has "taken over" for Steve to go into depth about something, most commonly at WWDC.

    Has it occurred to any of the ghouls of Gizmodo/CNET that perhaps Jobs just thinks breaking up the presentation in segments is a good idea? That he doesn't always LIKE talking non-stop for an hour plus??

    Lots of people Jobs' age have some minor -- and some not-so-minor -- health concerns. Steve will certainly die some day (let's hope he retires first), but this awful speculation is just plain morbid and says more about the writers' MENTAL health than it does about Jobs' physical health.

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