Apple's board of directors has appealed to Steve Jobs, interim chief executive, to take the job permanently, according to US reports.
Larry Ellison, Oracle's chairman, went on record this week to say that the board had tried to make Jobs change his mind about not staying on to manage the company.
Although he said Apple had interviewed a candidate from Hewlett-Packard for the job, who would have been "a first-rate CEO", no-one was, in his view, capable of replacing Jobs.
"We tried begging, bribing, everything. This is not subtle. We have gotten on our knees collectively on this. We have the best CEO in the world at Apple right now. Steve is the right guy to run Apple - from a knowledge, experience, compassion, intellect and metabolism standpoint.
He went on: "There is a difference between a first rate CEO and Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs is better than a first rate CEO. There is no-one who can fill Steve's shoes. There is no-one," Ellison, who is Jobs best friend, waxed lyrical.
However, several other members of Apple's executive committee also acknowledged they would like Jobs to stay, and admitted that finding a replacement had been difficult.
Fred Anderson, Apple's chief financial officer, said that finding a new CEO had not been as easy as the board had thought in July and August, but added: "One thing Apple does not need is another 180-degree shift in strategy. We don't need another strategy de jour."
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