Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac“It looks increasingly like Steve Jobs’ reign at Apple is over,” Ryan Tate reports for Valleywag. “”If the CEO doesn’t return from his third, indefinite medical leave, COO Tim Cook will succeed him, marking a new era not only for Apple but for gay progress.”

“Cook, who is running Apple in Jobs’ absence, has been as reticent to acknowledge his sexual orientation as he has his prowess in overseeing the company supply chain,” Tate reports. “But as Jobs fades back, and as his absences grow more prolonged and uncertain, Cook will become, by necessity, a public figure.”

Tate reports, “That new attention is a good thing for a man with a reputation as fearsomely good as Cook’s. Cook’s rise to his position—he is one of the most powerful corporate executives in the world, to say nothing of being the most powerful gay person in tech by a mile… If Cook is in a long term partnership, he’s kept it well hidden. Given his brutal work schedule, though, it’s hard to imagine how he’d find time. Still, he’s got enough experience to have developed some preferences; our tech executive source claims Cook is into Asian guys, a tidbit that prompted another tech observer, with whom we shared the item, to propose some strategic matchmaking that would pair Cook with Google hotshot Ben Ling.”

MacDailyNews Take: Vendettawag. (Valleywag is a Gawker Media blog. Just like Gizmodo. You remember Gizmodo, right?)

Full piece, headlined “Meet Apple’s New Boss, The Most Powerful Gay Man in Silicon Valley” – Think Before You Click™here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Cook, who is running Apple in Jobs’ absence, has been as reticent to acknowledge his sexual orientation,” but Gawker will out him anyway presumably because they were – allegedly – stupid enough to purchase a lost/stolen iPhone 4 prototype and publish detailed descriptions and photos of it online and Apple punched back hard.

So, now Steve’s on medical leave and, darn, it looks like they haven’t been able to buy his X-Rays to slap all over the Web, so they’ll settle for going after Cook, couched as a “profile,” by headlining something that Cook doesn’t mention publicly, much less trumpet, and that has nothing whatsoever to do with being a top Apple executive – or anything else for that matter.

Why not just call Cook the “most powerful man in Silicon Valley next to Steve Jobs?” And, where’s the ValleyWag article about “the most powerful heterosexual man in Silicon Valley?”

Gawker, as usual, comes off as petty, vindictive, and just plain sad.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]