Steve Jobs has formally been named chief executive of Apple Computer, but only until the company can find a suitable replacement.
The first meeting of Apple?s new board of directors met its recruitment agent, John Thompson of Heidrick & Struggles, to discuss the search for a CEO, whom Apple expected to appoint a few weeks ago. The company now hopes to name a new CEO by the end of 1997.
Apple admitted the move was made to "formalise the role of Steve Jobs", a position that has been unclear since July, when he assumed effective control of the company in the wake of former CEO Gil Amelio?s hasty departure.
Analysts said the move to appoint Jobs as interim CEO was part of the company?s "housekeeping". They added that it would help to ease fears that nobody would be found suitable - or willing - to the demands of running the fallen computer giant and answering to board heavyweights such as Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.
Jobs has made sweeping changes in recent weeks, leading Apple as it cut ties with cloners, forged an alliance with Microsoft, folded the Newton division back into the company and bought Power Computing. His vast influence, as interim CEO and co-founder of the company, will be difficult for an incoming chief to cope with, according to some observers. Other analysts claimed this indicates that Jobs may be willing to reverse the decision he made last month and take the job himself on a permanent basis.
Jobs also recently confirmed that he was the investor who sold 1.5 million Apple shares in June, when he lost faith in the previous Apple board.
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