At Gizmodo, Jesus Diaz posits that Jobs is preparing to leave the company, “probably very soon”.
I’d say no. Having Tim Cook and Jony Ive on stage with him was certainly different, and it may well be part of grooming both of them to take bigger public roles. It was also a good way to inspire investor confidence. But it’s hardly unprecedented for Jobs to act more as MC than showman during an event. He played an even smaller role in the keynote at WWDC 2006 when Leopard was introduced; most of the demos were presented by Phil Schiller and Scott Forstall. Diaz writes:
[Jobs] was saying: “Hey, look, Apple is more than Steve. These are The Guys, the Goodfellas, the A-Team. They share the same vision I have. And they are going to push the company forward when I change my office chair for a hammock and caipirinhas on my private beach in Hawaii”.
I think he’s right that Jobs is proud of, and has tremendous faith in, Cook and Ive. If Jobs dies or gets really sick, Apple’s obviously going to have to replace him. But so long as he’s healthy, working at Apple is exactly the thing Jobs wants to do. He’s consumed by his work, and I think it’s only in the last two or three years that Apple has gotten to the point where Jobs feels he has a decent set of crayons at his disposal. In Jobs’s mind, the iPhone is only the beginning of what a truly flourishing Apple can produce. Why would he leave now? “A hammock and caipirinhas on a private beach” would be living hell for Steve Jobs.
★ Wednesday, 15 October 2008