As of yesterday, the PC maker's public relations staff was reading a prepared statement that said: "He has a personal scheduling conflict requiring him to be on the West Coast at this time." They had set up a satellite link for him to make a "virtual" appearance at the show. (See related story)
Jobs proved them wrong, causing some in-house hand-wringing. He changed his mind last night, caught a "red-eye" flight to New York to give the speech, and already is headed back home, a spokeswoman explained today.
"It surprised us as well," added another chagrined PR staffer. "He has a history of doing that."
According to one Wall Street analyst, Jobs's wife is expecting a baby, keeping his scheduling in flux. Jobs already has three children.