Apple was in further turmoil last week as it started to bleed top executives again with the resignation of executive vice-president of marketing, Guerrino De Luca.
At the same time, the company announced that Steve Jobs had been appointed interim CEO.
De Luca is yet another on a long list of top Apple executives to leave the company in the past twelve months. Industry experts said his resignation came as no surprise as he was rumoured to have had major disagreements with Steve Jobs.
De Luca commented: "This is a personal decision which does not reflect my assessment of the company's prospects. We are seeing a lot of changes at Apple and I'm confident that Apple will shine again."
The news came hot on the heels of the announcement that company co-founder Steve Jobs has been appointed interim chief executive officer until a permanent successor is decided upon.
The Apple board, whose overhaul Steve Jobs spearheaded last month, said it expects to name a new CEO by the end of the year.
Jobs had been made a special advisor to Apple since returning earlier this year at the request of former CEO Gil Amelio, who left two months ago.
He had previously made it publicly known that he was not interested in the role of CEO permanently.
Analysts said the move was merely stating the obvious. Michael Gartenberg, research director at the Gartner Group, commented: "Jobs is CEO of Apple whether he likes it or not. He's the one that makes all the decisions."
Jobs has already made some major strategy changes at Apple. Earlier this month, he decided that Apple should buy Power Computing, the largest Mac cloner, and he was also behind the decision to change MacOS licensing beyond version 8. As a result, Motorola announced last week that it is pulling out of the Mac cloning business for good.
The one remaining Mac clone manufacturer, Umax, has a licence to make low-end machines until July next year.
Jobs also masterminded the decision to bring Apple's Newton division back into the fold. He believes Apple's e-mate portable computer could represent a major factor in the company's return to profitability.
Apple's shares rose 50 cents to $22 (#13.75) with this news.
Apple: more bad news ...
Further bad news for Apple last week as US newspapers reported that Exponential Technologies had filed a suit against the company for allegedly breaking a contract this year.
The former chip vendor said Apple's actions had ultimately forced Exponential to shut down most of its operations.
The suit asks for $500 million (#312.5 million) in damages from Apple.
According to Exponential, earlier this year, it had been set to supply Apple with PowerPC x704 processors running at speeds of up to 533MHz.
According to US reports, then CEO Gil Amelio had even demonstrated a system based on these chips.
Apple, however, announced in May that it would not use the Exponential X704 chips in its machines.
According to ex-employees at Exponential, this was the beginning of the company's decline.
Apple was unavailable for comment.
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