New leadership shakes up Valley (week in review)

Familiar faces return to the helm at Apple and Google, while HP replaces four board members. Also: Google readies Groupon clone.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
Expertise I have more than 30 years' experience in journalism in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Steven Musil
3 min read

Three tech icons announced this week major leadership changes that took Silicon Valley by surprise.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs got the ball rolling by announcing he is taking another medical leave from the company he co-founded more than 30 years ago, leaving many to wonder who might be in line to be his successor.

Sarah Tew/CNET
Apple COO Tim Cook Sarah Tew/CNET

Jobs, a pancreatic cancer survivor, announced in an e-mail to employees that he would be stepping away indefinitely from his day-to-day duties at Apple but would retain the title of chief executive. Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook will assume responsibility for the company's day-to-day operations, as he did during Jobs' previous leave of absence for medical treatment.
•  Apple shares slip on word of Jobs' leave
•  Apple posts record revenue, earnings for Q1 2011

But the next obvious question then becomes, is Cook the person who could, if called upon, take over entirely for Jobs someday? While Cook has the full confidence of his boss and has demonstrated an ability to execute on Jobs' big-picture plans already in place, it's the long-term prognosis for the eventual reality of an Apple without Jobs that makes investors nervous.
•  Apple COO: We're 'very confident' in Apple's future
•  Woz wishes Jobs well during leave

Over at Google, its ruling triumvirate was shaken up by the announcement that CEO Eric Schmidt will be taking the role of executive chairman, while co-founder Larry Page will become CEO. Sergey Brin, who has also shared power with the two others, will work on "strategic projects," Google said.

Schmidt, who was hired by the co-founders in 2011 to become Google's CEO, will focus on external partnerships and business deals starting on April 4, when Page will take over the day-to-day management role. Schmidt said in a blog post that Page, "in my clear opinion, is ready to lead."
•  Schmidt: 'Adult supervision' at Google no longer needed

Meanwhile, just a few months removed from the Mark Hurd scandal, Hewlett-Packard's board of directors is getting a makeover with the replacement of four board members and the addition of a new seat.

The timing of the replacement seems tied to an investigation HP is ready to start into the circumstances surrounding former CEO Hurd's resignation from the company. HP wants this investigation to be "independent" and led by a committee of outside attorneys and of board members who joined the Silicon Valley giant after Hurd's departure.
•  Tricky transitions in tech leadership

More headlines

Google readies Groupon competitor

After being rebuffed in a buyout offer for social-buying market leader Groupon, the Internet giant is working on a daily-deals competitor called Google Offers.

Regulators approve Comcast-NBC Universal deal

The FCC and Justice Department give the OK to the new joint venture between Comcast and NBC Universal but put several conditions on the deal.

Facebook backtracks on apps grabbing address, cell number

In a quick about-face, the social network is temporarily disabling a new tweak that gave third-party apps the ability to record someone's address and cell number.
•  Facebook tweak reveals addresses, phone numbers
•  How to delete address, cell number from Facebook
•  Facebook launches new low-tech mobile site

Nokia ditches plans for X7 smartphone on AT&T

Phone maker cancels the launch of a smartphone slated to be exclusive to AT&T's network in the U.S.
•  CDMA iPhone shipments could top 12 million in '11

Netflix nixes DVD choice from streaming gear, vexes users

The company's decision to remove the option to add titles to the DVD queue from streaming devices sets off criticism from Netflix customers.
•  HBO: Netflix must charge more to use our content

HTML editor dumps 'HTML5' even as W3C touts it

Concluding HTML version numbers are a relic of a bygone age, Ian Hickson adopts a "living document" approach. Not so the W3C standards group.

Apple iPad secures 87 percent market share

Tablets continue to be top products for consumers worldwide, according to a new study from IDC. They're led by Apple's iPad, which has nearly 90 percent market share, the company revealed.
•  Two charged in AT&T-iPad data breach

Boeing resets Dreamliner delivery to third quarter

New date for the 787 Dreamliner factors in the time Boeing needs to produce, install, and test updated software and new electrical power distribution panels following an onboard fire.
•  Boeing's 787 Dreamliner: A legacy of delays

Also of note
•  Survey: iPhone owners most loyal to their brand
•  Playboy to offer Web subscription service
•  What happens when the CD factory closes?