Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Apple Inc. has pulled off a string of runaway hits — like the iPhone and the iPad — that have revolutionized every industry they touched. It has become the world's second-most-valuable company, worth more than $300 billion.
But when shareholders meet Wednesday at the company's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters, the buzz will not be about Apple's next sleek new gadget or soaring profits. Much of the talk will be about Chief Executive Steve Jobs and what Apple would do without him.
The secretive Apple has been reluctant to talk publicly about Jobs' battle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer and a liver transplant. But the uncertainty shrouding his latest leave of absence has unsettled investors and rankled corporate governance experts, who say the company's fortunes are inextricably linked to Jobs.