Although heir-apparent to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, the Cupertino, Calif. company’s Chief Operating Officer is rumored to be on the short list to run troubled PC maker HP. The rumor, first floated by investor gossip site Fly On The Wall, is making the rounds of tech news sites. Although carrying a bold “rumor” stamp and issued with a black box warning, the speculation effected the stock market.
Apple stock dropped 20 points Tuesday morning, before regaining ground. The news is likely to bolster Cook’s position when he negotiates his salary or hints its time for Jobs to go.
Cook wouldn’t be the first Apple staffer to leave for HP. Former Apple exec Jon Rubinstein became CEO of Palm, which was purchased by HP earlier this year for $1.2 billion. This also wouldn’t be the first time a troubled corporation looked to Cook to fill a leadership position. As we reported earlier this year, automaker GM was rumored to have considered Cook for the spot.
In 2009, Cook filled Jobs’ shoes for five months while the iconic co-founder and head of Apple recovered from liver transplant surgery. Unlike Jobs, who takes a $1 annual salary, Cook made $14 million last year.