No change in Jobs's return plan
CUPERTINO, Calif. - Apple Inc. cofounder and chief executive Steve Jobs still expects to return from his medical leave at the end of June, according to an Apple director who responded to an investor at the company's annual shareholder meeting yesterday.
The investor - who was the only one to press for details on Jobs' health - had asked when the board knew Jobs planned to step away from his daily duties. Apple director Arthur Levinson responded that since Jobs said Jan. 14 that he needed to go on leave, "nothing has changed."
Jobs, who turned 54 on Tuesday, was not at the meeting. At one point, investors stood up and sang "Happy Birthday" to him, at the urging of one shareholder.
A survivor of pancreatic cancer who looked very thin last year, Jobs said Jan. 5 that he had a treatable hormone imbalance and would continue to run Apple. But the following week he went on leave to treat medical issues that he said were "more complex" than he had believed. Apple's chief operating officer, Tim Cook, took over daily duties.
Despite questions about how Apple's board handled the disclosures about Jobs' health, all the directors were reelected, including former Vice President Al Gore, Google Inc. chief executive Eric Schmidt, and Levinson, the chairman and chief executive of Genentech Inc.
Jobs's health especially concerns investors because of the huge influence he has had in shaping Apple's products and design choices since he regained control of the company in 1997. Apple shares rose 91 cents to $91.16 on the Nasdaq.