Netgear boss says sorry for sick Steve Jobs slurs

Netgear top dog Patrick Lo has issued a grovelling apology after making a public gaffe worthy of a Sky Sports pundit.

We reported yesterday how the outspoken CEO had made some pretty unsavoury remarks about Steve Jobs and the possibility of him returning to the helm at Apple yesterday but a new transcript of the meeting supplied by the Daily Telegraph suggest that Lo's comments were even lower than initially reported.

The head of the home networking outfit was talking about the rise of Android and how its open nature could impact on Apple's dominance when he remarked:

"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."

Apple's CEO has recently announced that he is taking an indeterminate leave of absence to recover fully from his recent Pancreatic cancer and subsequent liver transplant.

Lo obviously thought at the time that it was acceptable to mock a very sick man but has since tried to weasel out of his words - after just about every tech site on the Internet called him out on his odious outburst - with a grovelling apology.

We have reproduced his email which was sent to media outlets so that you can make a decision on which brand you will choose the next time you need a new modem or router.

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,
Chairman and CEO