“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.

SEE ALSO:
Irony: Gizmodo’s Brian Lam leaves phone in restaurant; grateful an honest patron turned it in – August 21, 2010
D.A. withdraws search warrant after deal with Gizmodo’s Chen – July 16, 2010
Court begins examining Gizmodo’s Jason Chen’s computers, devices for 4G iPhone info – June 03, 2010
Gawker’s Ryan Tate and loser Brent Arends desperately try to vilify Steve Jobs – May 19, 2010
Apple claims huge loss over iPhone leak; knew who sold prototype to Gizmodo same day story broke – May 17, 2010
Judge unseals Gizmodo-4G iPhone prototype search warrant – May 14, 2010
4G iPhone: ‘Are bloggers journalists? I guess we’ll find out’ – Gawker’s Denton – April 27, 2010
Hearing on unsealing Gizmodo warrant in next-gen iPhone imbroglio scheduled for Friday – May 11, 2010
Judge rejects media request for search warrant in Gizmodo 4G iPhone prototype imbroglio – May 07, 2010
News organizations seek Gizmodo court records in prototype 4G iPhone probe – May 05, 2010
Jon Stewart blows it, calls Apple ‘Appholes’ over Gizmodo’s 4G iPhone imbroglio (with video) – April 29, 2010
Rush Limbaugh: The fascinating case of the Gizmodo guys and Apple’s 4G iPhone – April 28, 2010
Gizmodo editor Jason Chen retains criminal defense lawyer in 4G IPhone prototype imbroglio – April 28, 2010
Why Gizmodo could be in deep doo doo over outing of Apple’s 4G iPhone prototype – April 28, 2010
Police may allege that Gizmodo committed felony in 4G iPhone imbroglio – April 26, 2010
Police seize Gizmodo’s Jason Chen’s Macs, iPad, more after he posted next-gen iPhone video and pics – April 26, 2010
Police probe how lost next-gen Apple iPhone prototype ended up being purchased by Gizmodo – April 24, 2010
Did Gizmodo break the law with its 4G iPhone story? – April 21, 2010
Gizmodo posts videos, photos of ‘Apple’s next iPhone’ that was lost in a California bar (w/ video) – April 19, 2010

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