Feeds

Jobs to skip Apple shareholders meeting

Steve Watch continues

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Apple's Steve Jobs, on medical leave until June, won't attend attend the company's annual shareholders meeting this Wednesday, fueling rumors that Apple's savior is phasing himself out.

Also, the privacy-loving convalescent is no longer instant-messaging with his chat buddies. Apparently.

That first announcement is news, reported by the ever-reliable Bloomberg.com.

The second is merely a flimsy rumor making the rounds of the intertubes.

First, the first: Since his return to Apple in 1997, after which he pulled the Cupertino Fruit Company out of its death spiral, Jobs hasn't missed one of his company's annual stakeholder gatherings.

That perfect-attendance streak is about to be broken.

Apple announced last month that Jobs was going to step down from day-to-day duties as Apple's CEO and take a medical leave until late June. Since then, there has been turmoil in the fanboi ranks.

Some observers - especially those with a financial interest in Apple's future - demand that Jobs come clean and reveal all relevant details of his apparenly serious medical condition.

Others insist that Jobs be allowed his privacy and that his condition is a personal matter to be shared by him only when and how he chooses.

This Wednesday, however, those arguments won't be conducted merely on blogs and news sites. Apple shareholders will be able to ask questions when face-to-face with the company's Board of Directors, which include such luminaries as Inconvenient Truther Al Gore, Intuit Chairman Bill Campbell, and Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

However, with the SEC reported to be investigating how Apple has handled disclosures about Jobs's health, Apple's directors may borrow a page from government officials who find themselves on the hot seat, and merely say, "We can't comment because of an ongoing investigation."

The second "announcement" - that Jobs has ceased chatting with his peeps - is more troubling. Both because of what it may imply and because it reveals the lengths to which people will go to find any hint of the extent of Jobs's illness.

Apparently, an acquaintance of the source of the rumor who had been a regular IMer with Jobs told him that the on-leave CEO is no longer keeping his customary online hours and has recently disappeared from chat entirely.

The reasons for Jobs's absence - if, in fact, this rumor is even true - could be legion. Possible explanations range from Jobs simply kicking back with a frosty beverage to Jobs kicking the proverbial bucket.

Our preferred explanation: Jobs had to reboot his blessedly crash-proof Mac to install the recent Mac OS X security update, and he doesn't have iChat listed among his System Preferences > Accounts > Login Items.

Or he could simply have deleted that loose-lipped leaker from his buddy list.

Those who talk about it don't know, and those who know aren't talking about it - at least until the Wednesday shareholders meeting. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.