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Steve Jobs' death greatly exaggerated; Bloomberg obit a mistake

The news service updates obituary, puts it on the wire, then retracts

August 28, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Take heart, Apple fans, it's not true.

The Bloomberg financial news service yesterday posted a revised obituary of Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs by accident on its wire service, but quickly retracted it.

News organizations typically write obituaries of notable people while they're still alive, and regularly update them so that the stories are quickly available.

According to the gossip blog Gawker, which posted a copy of the Bloomberg obituary, the news service issued a retraction late Wednesday afternoon. "An incomplete story referencing Apple Inc. was inadvertently published by Bloomberg News at 4:27 p.m. New York time today," the retraction read. "The item was never meant for publication and has been retracted."

The four-page Bloomberg obituary outlined Jobs' career, touching on highlights such as the 1976 founding of Apple, the introduction of the Mac in 1984, his ouster from the company the following year and his return to Apple in 1997.

Bloomberg also mentioned Jobs' gaunt appearance in June at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, which fueled speculation that the CEO was again ill. In August 2004, Jobs announced he had had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in his pancreas. This year, Apple officials explained Jobs' appearance in June by saying he had been recovering from a "common bug" at the time.

Last month, he talked off-the-record about his health with Joe Nocera, a reporter at The New York Times. Nocera reported only that Jobs' health problems "weren't life-threatening and he doesn't have a recurrence of cancer."

Interestingly, Bloomberg's obituary noted that Apple has never named a successor to Jobs for the company's top spot.

Apple's stock, was up 20 cents, to $174.67, at 1 p.m. EDT, after falling to $174.41 earlier in the day.

An Apple representative could not be reached for comment.

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