It remains to be seen whether he’s just testing the waters, or if he’s actually returned full-time to heading Apple (s aapl), but Steve Jobs sightings at the company’s Cupertino campus in California have been confirmed. This comes after news from The Wall Street Journal earlier in the week that Jobs’ medical leave actually involved a liver transplant and recuperation time related to the procedure.
Confirmation of Jobs’ return comes via CNBC’s Jim Goldman, who reports that his sources, various Apple employees, say that Jobs is back on campus and at work, or at least he was yesterday. Official Apple representatives have yet to say anything definitive on the matter, after having revealed that Jobs will return to work later in the month.
What does Jobs’ return mean for the company at this point? Considering the company’s success in his absence, even if he doesn’t become as involved as he had been previously, chances are that any kind of presence will only serve to further bolster investor and public confidence in Apple’s continued ability to outperform expectations — with the added benefit that, this time around, should he unfortunately have to depart again, the risk to the company’s bottom line should be greatly decreased.
I’m curious about what the average Apple consumer thinks about Jobs’ return. For me, apprehension about his leaving quickly gave way to the same sense of excitement and anticipation I’d always held regarding new Apple products and developments. As a result, I now see his return to work as a happy bonus, rather than something that’s necessary for the continued success of the company. Hopefully, he’s well enough to handle future keynotes and events, though, because that’s one area where no one can quite live up to his example. What are your thoughts?