Apple’s chief executive Steve Jobs, three weeks into a medical leave, is calling the shots from home, making strategic decisions on the iPad 2 and iPhone 5, according to people familiar with the matter.
The 55-year-old Jobs, whose illness hasn’t been announced, is taking meetings and phone calls at home, and occasionally, visiting Apple’s Cupertino, Calif.-based campus, these sources said.
Among the day-to-day workings, Jobs has also been making decisions on the next version of its iPad, expected to launch in the coming months, as well as the iPhone 5, which is customarily unveiled in June.
Last month, Jobs announced that he was stepping aside to take his third, and indefinite, leave of absence, leaving the helm to COO Tim Cook. After undergoing successful surgery to treat pancreatic cancer in 2004, Jobs continued to be plagued by health issues. In 2009, he took another leave, secretly flying to Tennessee to receive a liver transplant.
Over the last decade, Apple’s success has largely been tied to Jobs, who led one of the most celebrated comebacks in business history with a stylish range of products, such as the MacBook, iPod, iPhone and iPad.
In January, Apple posted a record-breaking $6 billion quarterly profit, fueled by strong sales of the iPhone and iPad. The company is reportedly pushing ahead by beefing up security and adding mobile payment services on its mobile products.
Perhaps signaling how important Jobs is to Apple, investors — worried about the condition of his health — are pushing for a proposal to force the company to make a formal succession plan.