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Jobs won't do usual keynote at Macworld

By Gregg Keizer
December 22, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - In a move likely to spark renewed questions about the health of Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs, the company said last week that the keynote speech at next month's Macworld Conference & Expo will be delivered by a marketing executive instead of Jobs. Apple also said it won't exhibit at or send speakers to Macworld after the 2009 show. Jobs has used previous Macworlds to unveil key products, such as the iPhone and the MacBook Air.

Jobs, who had a cancerous tumor removed from his pancreas in 2004, looked gaunt at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June, fueling talk that he might again be ill.

But he "looked fine" at a MacBook announcement in October, said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst at Technology Business Research Inc. By switching Macworld speakers, Apple may just "want to communicate that the company is a good deal more than Jobs," Gottheil said.

This version of the story originally appeared in Computerworld's print edition.

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