updated 11:30 pm EST, Mon February 23, 2009
Steve Jobs rumor
A rumor claims that Steve Jobs has been using his computer less since taking his six-month leave of absence, according to a report by Robert X Cringely, the pen name used by former PBS journalist Mark Stephens. The source, a friend of Cringely, has allegedly been one of Jobs' Internet chat contacts for years. The Apple CEO historically would spend hours a day logged into a chat client, a habit that continued into his leave of absence. "But then Steve started logging-on less and less. And several weeks ago he stopped logging-on at all," Cringely said.
"Steve Jobs has stopped using his computer. He's off curing himself of something he won't name and in some manner we can't know but I CAN tell you right now it doesn't involve using his computer," Cringely wrote, although his concrete conclusion appears to be drawn solely from information regarding instant messenger habits.
The iconic CEO and his company have remained silent on the issue since the announcement that he would take time off to address his heath problems. Despite attempts to keep everything wrapped up as a "private matter," Jobs initially blamed his gaunt appearance on a "hormonal imbalance" that required simple treatment. Just nine days later, however, he admitted that his health issues were more complex than he originally thought.
Shareholders have voiced frustration with the situation, with suggestions that any serious health issues should not be hidden from the public, as he is considered by many to be a significant factor when looking at the company from an investment standpoint. The SEC even launched an investigation into the matter, viewing his departure as sudden. The commission could find foul play if Jobs was aware of serious complications while telling the public of a simple hormonal imbalance.
Jobs will not be present at Apple's annual shareholders' meeting scheduled for February 25th, marking his first absence since returning to the company in 1996. "The company has a responsibility to let public shareholders know that the organizational structure will be sound if Steve Jobs has to leave for any reason," said Ryan Jacob, head of the Jacob Internet Fund.