The news this week that Apple’s CEO would be skipping Macworld triggered the usual jitters about how he’s feeling — sending shares down nearly 6% over the next two days.
The issue was raised in hundreds of news stories and analyst reports. Oppenheimer & Co. withheld its Apple (AAPL) price target pending some answers about the state of Steve Jobs’ health — a matter of intense speculation since his 2004 operation for pancreatic cancer and subsequent weight loss. (See here.)
Even Apple watchers who think pulling out of the Macworld Expo was a smart move for the company worried that Jobs’ absence might mean the worst. On The Mac Observer’s influential Apple Finance Board, one investor posted an open letter to Apple begging for some kind of public appearance:
“If anyone of influence at Apple is reading this forum, you really owe it to the share holders to talk Steve into scheduling some sort of high-profile interview or better yet press conference where he can show up and prove to everyone that he is still very much alive, and that the decision not to appear at Macworld is a strategic decision to put less emphasis on trade shows in the future rather than anything to do with his personal health.” (link)
But Jobs doesn’t have to meet the press, do a perp walk or swim across the Yangtze River to make his presence known. He’s got a job and an office and a parking space. He drives to work most every day. Surely he’s been sighted by hundreds of people on the Cupertino campus.
We’re not suggesting that anyone stalk Steve Jobs or invade his privacy in any way.
But if you’ve run into him lately, you might put a lot of anxieties to rest by posting a comment and letting us know how looked.