updated 09:45 am EST, Thu February 26, 2009
Apple shareholder Q-and-A
Apple's board of directors faced pointed questions during Wednesday's shareholders' meeting, directed a variety of topics. In a Q&A session held during the event, the topic immediately switched to the health of CEO Steve Jobs, whose absence from the room served as a reminder that the executive is on an extended medical leave through the month of June. Board member Arthur Levinson attempted to reassure shareholders, explaining that the group discloses information when it is considered both important and proper to do so. Possible succession plans come up regularly in talks, said Levinson.
Apple's chief operating officer, Tim Cook, fielded another question about the company's decision to abandon the Macworld Expo, which it helped anchor and frequently used as a platform for new product announcements. Cook insisted that while the company has "very fond memories" of Macworld, it now has over 250 retail stores, said to provide "many, many Macworlds each week." Press events can be scheduled when the stores are not enough, Cook elaborated, commenting that the decision to leave Macworld had "nothing to do" with Apple disliking the event.
The company was lastly challenged on a lack of professional first-party web design software, the only alternative being the layman-oriented iWeb. Apple's senior VP of product marketing, Phil Schiller, commented that the company does not want to try and fill every product niche available. "For the foreseeable future, [no pro software is] the case," he remarked.
People attending the meeting also led the crowd in singing happy birthday to Jobs, who turned 54 the day before. Cook promised to pass along the sentiment.