An Apple Computer board member today took issue with published reports that the company's directors were pressuring interim CEO Steve Jobs into deciding whether to pick up the post for good.
While Apple's board held a meeting today to discuss Jobs's role with the company, the board member, who wished to remain anonymous, maintained that the company is not "under the gun" to convince Jobs to take the position in hopes of naming him CEO at the upcoming April 22 annual shareholders meeting.
The director said the board is focusing instead on how the company has been performing since Jobs stepped aboard as interim CEO.
"The stock is up and we've had profits. That's what we're concerned about--the bottom line," he said. "People question [Jobs's] commitment, but he's working for free. What does that say about his commitment? This is a passion for him."
The latest offer Apple's directors have made to Jobs includes options of roughly 6 million shares, as well as of 1 million shares of restricted stock, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Were he to accept the offer, it would give Jobs more than a 5 percent stake in the company.
The director declined to comment on the offer.
Jobs and the board have been talking compensation terms since December, in which he reportedly rejected the first offer that was comprised solely of options, according to the Journal. And then last month requested a sweeter deal, according to the paper.
Apple has been searching for a CEO since last July, when former top dog Gilbert Amelio was outsted, amid growing losses, falling revenue, and a historically low stock price.
Amelio, whose tell-all book will hit bookstores in early April, cites the time when Jobs approached him while he was still National Semiconductor's CEO and a member of Apple's board. Amelio recalled how Jobs asked the chip executive to support Job's desire to return to Apple as its CEO. But Amelio noted he was not satisfied with the cofounder's answers when asked about his strategy to push Apple forward.
Following Amelio's ouster, the company first indicated that it expected to name a new CEO by fall, then said by winter. Both deadlines have passed, with no candidate named to the top executive spot.
Jobs, who has served as interim CEO since September, has seen the company's stock more than double and the company post profits under his watch.
However, the company still faces the task of halting its eroding market share and declining revenues, as well as building a company that can achieve sustained profitability.