Apple Can Function `Pretty Well' Without CEO Jobs, Co-Founder Wozniak Says

Apple Inc. (AAPL) can function “pretty well” after Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs took medical leave of absence, co-founder Steve Wozniak said.

“Steve Jobs is only on partial leave. Even if he were to be on total leave, we have examined it,” Wozniak, who said he last spoke with Jobs two months back, spoke in Singapore today. “Apple will go on pretty well even if he is not there directly.”

Jobs took a leave of absence as his health deteriorates from a bout with a rare form of cancer and the effects of a liver transplant he had almost two years ago, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The CEO has been unable to keep on weight as he undergoes treatment for his conditions, said the person, who requested anonymity because the matter is private.

“I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can,” Jobs said in an e-mail to employees in January. Jobs said he will continue to “be involved in major strategic decisions for the company.”

Jill Tan, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for Apple, didn’t answer two phone calls made to her mobile phone.

Jobs and Wozniak started Apple Computer Inc. in 1976 in Jobs’s garage in California’s Silicon Valley. Apple’s first investor Mike Markkula invested $250,000 in Apple for a 33 percent stake and later served stints as president and Chairman.

Photographer: Norman Ng/Bloomberg

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc., speaking in Singapore. Wozniak founded Apple with Steve Jobs in 1976. Close

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Photographer: Norman Ng/Bloomberg

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc., speaking in Singapore. Wozniak founded Apple with Steve Jobs in 1976.

Apple dropped the word “computer” from its name in 2007 after it entered the mobile-phone market with the iPhone.

The maker of iMac computers, iPhones and iPod music players still has more room for more innovation, Wozniak said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Weiyi Lim in Singapore at wlim26@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net; Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net

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