Apple’s Tim Cook

Apple’s Tim Cook, described as the “most powerful gay man in Silicon Valley”, could take over from chief executive Steve Jobs who has been troubled by ill health.

Cook is currently the head of operations for the company but is also running Apple as the CEO during Jobs’ sick leave, which is currently for an indefinite period.

Industry commentators suggest that Jobs, who has battled pancreatic cancer and had a liver transplant in 2009, may soon resign from his position.

They also note that Cook has been operating as the de-facto CEO for some time and has taken over Job’s position twice before while he was on leave.

According to a new profile on Valleywag, Cook (50) has never publicly confirmed that he is gay and has been reticent to do so.

“But as Jobs fades back, and as his absences grow more prolonged and uncertain, Cook will become, by necessity, a public figure,” said the website.

According to sources in Apple, Cook’s sexual orientation has been discussed by the company’s executives who have said that they would support and welcome his public coming out.

Valleywag noted that if Cook takes over the reins at Apple it will mark “a new era not only for Apple but for gay progress”.

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