Jobs Prepares to Pass the Torch: Analyst

Apple icon's lower profile signals shift, regardless of health
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Dec 18, 2008 8:52 AM CST

(Newser) – Steve Jobs is moving slowly toward the exit, and the Apple CEO has assembled such a strong team that even the absence of the company's "irreplaceable face" won't spell disaster, reports Apple Insider. Jobs' decision to skip MacWorld Expo doesn't mean his health is worsening but is "a sign that we are in the early stages of changing roles in Apple's management structure," an industry analyst told clients this week.

Markets move on the merest rumor that Jobs, a cancer survivor, is having health issues. This time around, higher-profile roles for execs Phil Schiller—who will deliver the MacWorld Expo keynote—and Tim Cook walloped the company's stock price but may just signal an orderly succession. The analyst says he sees it as "a clear message that a leadership shift is under way."