A roundup of reaction to news of Jobs's latest leave

Tech and financial pundits see little immediate impact

As the technology and business worlds digest today's revelation that Apple's Steve Jobs is taking another health-related leave of absence, here is a wrap-up of news coverage and opinion.

A New York Times story quotes an insider regarding details of what is ailing Jobs and how that manifested itself in his day-to-day work habits:

A person with knowledge of the situation said that Mr. Jobs suffers from immune system issues common with people who have received liver transplants and that, as a result, his health suffers from frequent "ups and downs."

In recent weeks, Mr. Jobs began a down cycle and slowed his activities at Apple, said the person, who refused to be identified because he was not authorized to discuss Mr. Jobs's condition. Mr. Jobs has been coming to the office about two days a week and has appeared increasingly emaciated, the person said. He has frequently had lunch in his office, rather than in the company cafeteria, the person said.

This Wall Street Journal story focuses on Apple's need to be more forthcoming about succession plans than it has in the past:

To instill further investor confidence, Apple needs to pull back the curtain on its development process and highlight some of the other individuals who have helped usher in the iPhone and iPad, observers have said. Giving investors insight into the depth and strength of management will help instill confidence, they say.

"If you can show us the process behind the vision, and show that it's not all Steve Jobs, then I think the valuation will persevere," said Kim Caughey Forrest, an analyst for the Fort Pitt Capital fund. Fort Pitt Capital used to own shares in Apple, but sold off its stake several years ago.

ABC News looks ahead to tomorrow's quarterly earnings announcement by Apple:

Apple is unlikely to say more on Tuesday (regarding Jobs), even if analysts ask during the post-earnings conference call.

Apple investors tend to sell after earnings if Apple meets or beats expectations by a small margin, as they are accustomed to Apple trouncing analyst expectations. Combined with news of additional health woes for the iconic CEO, which has also prompted investors to dump shares in the past, this could mean bad news for Apple's stock in after-hours trading Tuesday and beyond.

CNN attempts to put into perspective why the Jobs story reverberates so widely:

To many tech fanatics, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs is a mythical hero -- a technological savior who has been compared to Jesus on several occasions.

To outsiders, however, it may not be obvious exactly why Jobs is so fascinating -- and why news about his new medical leave of absence, announced Monday, is causing reverberations in the tech blogosphere that extend far beyond get-well-soon notes.

An MSNBC.com report quotes several analysts in agreement that the Jobs leave should have little impact on Apple's short-term product-release schedule:

"Any products Apple is planning to increase in the foreseeable future have all been under development for many, many months, and I would expect they would continue to launch without any problems," (said Michael Gartenberg, a partner with Altimeter Group). "Everything will go as planned; there is no reason to think otherwise.

"If you're a customer, you're looking at teams and teams of effort in marketing and design, all of which goes beyond Steve ...When it comes to things of strategic importance, he's still involved, even though he's taking his leave of absence, and giving up the day-to-day, so to speak."

Reuters takes a look at No. 2 man Tim Cook:

Although lacking Jobs' showmanship -- he is not known for pitching products on stage -- Cook is regarded as the effective force behind Apple's day-to-day operations.

But last week, it was Cook, not Jobs, who took the stage in New York to announce that its popular iPhone would be available to customers of Verizon Wireless (VZ.N), the top U.S. mobile operator.

As he has done previously, Dan Lyons says he will be putting a muzzle on Fake Steve Jobs while the genuine article deals with his health issues:

I've spent the past few years impersonating Steve Jobs online, with a blog called The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, written in a persona that has come to be known as Fake Steve Jobs. In 2008, before Jobs went on his last medical leave but when it was clear that he was in poor health, I put the blog on hiatus. This morning, when news broke that Jobs is going on medical leave again, I posted my last item as Fake Steve and signed off.

A lot of people seem to think that I created the blog out of some personal animus toward Steve Jobs. In fact, it's quite the opposite. I think Jobs is the most fascinating person on the planet. Once, at a public appearance, I admitted to having a "man crush" on him. Who else could have done what Jobs has done at Apple? In 1997, when he returned to the company as CEO, Apple was as close to dead as a company can be. Jobs didn't just save Apple-he turned it into the hottest company in the world.

And, finally, Woz wishes him well.


Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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