Where is Steve Jobs?  Is Apple leadership shift underway?

“Steve Jobs’ absence from the public eye is prompting questions about the Apple CEO’s status, management effectiveness and health,” Brian X. Chen reports for Wired. “So far, the company has done little to provide substantive answers to those questions.”

“The mystery behind the lack of a Stevenote is leading some to speculate that Apple is getting ready to dethrone him, that Jobs has lost some of his typically ironclad control or that his health is failing,” Chen reports. “‘The company can be a little more open about what’s happening with Steve Jobs,’ said Vijay Rakesh, a ThinkPanmure analyst. ‘It’d help everybody put some uncertainty to rest.'”

“Whether he is sick or not, analysts and investors are justified in wanting to know the state of Jobs’ health and position at Apple,” Chen reports. “Several Apple employees contacted by Wired.com have reported that they haven’t seen Jobs since the company announced the CEO would not appear for a Macworld keynote. Jobs generally isn’t very visible in public, but the employees said they haven’t seen him on campus recently, either.”

“Apple’s typical vagueness is leading some analysts to believe Jobs will soon leave Apple because his health issues are returning,” Chen reports. “Rakesh said he believes Apple isn’t preparing to simply give Jobs the boot. He said it’s more likely that Apple has developed a new executive team, which will gradually transition Jobs out of his role as CEO.”

Chen reports, “Similarly, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster on Wednesday distributed a note saying his firm believes Apple is getting ready to shift management roles. ‘Yielding this year’s Macworld keynote to Phil Schiller, along with the participation of Tim Cook and Phil Schiller at the October event is, in our view, a clear message that a leadership shift is underway,’ Munster said.”

Full article here.

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