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Netgear boss issues apology for tasteless attack on Steve Jobs

Netgear boss Patrick Lo landed himself in a lot of hot water after making some rather unsavoury comments about Apple chief Steve Jobs.

Patrick Lo is well known for being rather outspoken however his latest comments turned a few heads. The Daily Telegraph supplied a transcript of the meeting. When Lo was asked about the rise of Android and how the open platform would affect Apple’s dominance, he said:

“So, it’s critical for Apple to make a decision how to go forward. And I think, as long as Steve Jobs lives, all right, so there’s no way they are going to open it up.

“Once Steve Jobs goes away, which is probably not going to be that far away [laughs], then Apple probably would have to make a very strategic decision to really open up their platform.”

Patrick Lo: Netgear

This comes after Apple’s CEO recently announced that he is taking an indeterminate break from the company to fully recover after his recent Pancreatic cancer and following liver transplant. Lo’ attack on Jobs, didn’t go down well at all, even with the anti Apple press, who thankfully have a little more common decency.

Patrick Lo came under such flak for his commentary that he has basically been forced to issue a grovelling apology to the press.

Hi. As many of you know I spoke in Sydney on Monday, at a lunch with more than a half dozen of Australia’s leading technology and business journalists. We covered a wide range of topics including the emergence of new IP protocols, cloud computing, wireless routers/repeaters in the home, the National Broadband Network (a current major Government project in Australia) and much more. During the course of the discussion, I shared my views about the future of Apple and Microsoft, as well as the surge of Android. Some of my comments were covered by the media who attended, and were reported more broadly outside Australia by media and bloggers who picked up on the story.

I stand by the opinions I stated on the business issues. Supporting open standards and environments in order to ease seamless networking integration of multimedia content is good for the consumer and good for content providers.

However, I deeply regret the choice of words I used in relation to business decisions Apple must grapple with in the future in relation to open vs. closed systems, which have been construed by some to be references to Steve Jobs’ health and which was never my intention.

I sincerely apologize that what I said was interpreted this way, and I wish Steve only the very best.

Patrick Lo,
NETGEAR
Chairman and CEO

KitGuru says: We can’t even being to imagine what he means when he says ‘what I said was interpreted this way’ – it seems a pretty clear below the belt attack.

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