The rumor mill is working overtime leading up to Macworld Expo, and the latest tidbit seems to indicate that Apple may have misrepresented its reasons for handing over keynote presentation duties to Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing. According to Gizmodo, Mr. Jobs is suffering from rapidly declining health, and the company is trying to control when that information is publicly released.
An unidentified source apparently told Gizmodo "Steve's health is rapidly declining. Apple is choosing to remove the hype factor strategically versus letting the hype destroy Apple when the inevitable news comes later this spring."
Apple's official stance is that 2009 will be the last Macworld Expo and Conference the company will attend because trade shows and conferences aren't as relevant as they once were. The Cupertino company did not, however, offer a reason for tapping Phil Schiller for the keynote presentation that has typically belonged to Mr. Jobs.
Apple COO Tim Cook told investors in July that Mr. Jobs doesn't have any plans to leave Apple. ""[Mr. Jobs] serves at the CEO at the pleasure of Apple's board and has no plans to leave Apple. Steve's health is a private matter."[Mr. Jobs] serves at the CEO at the pleasure of Apple's board and has no plans to leave Apple. Steve's health is a private matter," he said.
If report proves to be true, Apple is likely working through a "damage control" plan to minimize the impact the news of Mr. Jobs's health, although so far the company has not made any official statements indicating that the CEO is in ill health. Based on the thin details the rumor offers, however, it's just as likely that Apple's reasons for stepping back from Macworld and sending in Mr. Schiller for the keynote are legit.