Steve Jobs ‘should take a back seat’
Investors are calling for the Apple CEO to become company guru and leave day-to-day decisions to Tim Cook
Is it time the great computer visionary Steve Jobs did the unthinkable and stood down as CEO of Apple? Following the news that the man who gave the world the iMac, the iPod and the iPhone has recently undergone a liver transplant in a bid to stop the spread of his pancreatic cancer, investors are saying this is the moment he should be taking a back seat as corporate guru and leaving the day-to-day running of the California company to a younger, healthier man.
The Wall Street Journal report at the end of last week that Jobs, 54, was given a new liver in Tennessee about two months ago, brought to an end a period of great uncertainty concerning his health and that of the company he founded 33 years ago.
He is due to return to work later this month after six months' medical leave, during which Apple's chief operating officer, Tim Cook, has taken the helm. One of the reasons why investors believe Jobs should relax is that Cook has done a good job, with the recent quarterly profit surpassing Wall Street's expectations, mainly due to strong sales of iPhones and iPods.
"The success that the company has had since the day he [Jobs] disclosed his leave of absence gives a lot of people encouragement that there are signs that the company cannot just survive, but can thrive, in his absence," Richard Klugman, director of consumer technology at Majestic Research, told the Los Angeles Times.
Michael Obuchowski, chief investment officer for First Empire Asset Management, believes Jobs is "an obsessive, visionary freak" who will run himself down if he returns to Apple in his previous role.
"As an investor, I want him to be behind the scenes, as the person who provides input, the person who drives everyone else insane because he has this obsessive, visionary idea," said Obuchowski.
Brian Marshall, of the research firm Broadpoint AmTech, said it was great news that Jobs's transplant appeared to have gone well. "Having said that, it's clear he's not a very healthy individual. It makes sense for him to spend his energy and resources on the most important matters."
Apple has yet to make any formal comment about the Wall Street Journal report.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Since this item was posted, a Tennessee hospital has confirmed that Steve Jobs was given a liver transplant. The Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee said in a press release approved by Jobs that the patient is recovering well and has "an excellent prognosis". ·
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