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Posted at 7:38 AM ET, 02/ 1/2011

Netgear's Lo: I deeply regret the choice of words on Steve Jobs

By Hayley Tsukayama

Netgear CEO Patrick Lo gathered a lot of attention Monday after making scathing comments about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

At a lunch in Sydney, Lo criticized Apple's closed platform and said that the company would not change until Jobs "goes away." The comments hit a nerve with some people, as Jobs recently stepped down as Apple CEO for health reasons, handing control over to Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook.

Lo has since apologized for his remarks and said he never meant to imply that Apple would benefit from Jobs' poor health. He wished Jobs the best.

The Netgear CEO did, however, stand by his statements about the need for open standards and environments.

His full statement is below, from the Apple-dedicated blog Macgasm:

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

By Hayley Tsukayama  | February 1, 2011; 7:38 AM ET
Categories:  Apple  
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You should always read and re-read your writing to make sure you said what you wanted to say and(you)said it clearly.

Posted by: alcoleman | February 1, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"I sincerely apologize that what I said was interpreted this way..."

Sounds like he is "sincerely apologize(ing)" on the behalf of other people, since they are the ones that misinterpreted his words.

Do lawyers write these apologies or is everyone so conditioned that one naturally selects wordings to avoid accountability?

The non-apology, apology---what a creation.

Posted by: Devo5 | February 1, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

The apology sounded sincere and fairly straight-forward.

Devo5, Lo was apologizing for choosing words which could be (and were) taken the wrong way.

Posted by: david08054 | February 1, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

The only reason people took his words to mean ill-wishes towards Steve Jobs is becasue news writers and bloggers are looking for anything they can to be "news" and provide controversy. No reasonably sensible person would read his words and say "he's saying that he's wishing Steve Jobs would die." Lo shouldn't have to apologize--he simple declared Jobs as a barrier to an alternate way. The people that are spinning EVERY word they hear should apologize for making it so that no one can speak without being publicly burned at the stake. Such practices are eventually going to start stifling innovation and progress. It's getting to the point that people need more lawyers just to post a tweet or attend a meeting and than they need engineers for their actual business.

Why everyone is so touchy? Who cares what Patrick Lo thinks about Jobs? Do you think Steve does?

Posted by: Cricketw | February 1, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Sure, Mr. Lo's wording was club-footed, but no one seriously thought he meant that the world would be a better place if Steve jobs were to die.

No, I take issue with his basic premise; some people will not be satisfied until Apple becomes Microsoft, but why should they? Apple is now the second-most valuable company in the U.S., it's stock value has soared, it's products have become cultural touchstones - the gold standard of coolness. Whether you love it or hate 'em, it's hard to take a stand that they need to change. Why should they? To advantage Mr. Lo and Netgear? Get busy Mr. Lo, and innovate as Apple has - then you will other things to worry about other than the state of Mr. jobs' health.

Posted by: jlm656 | February 1, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Why would we want Apple to change? They have great products, easier to use and more reliable than any Windows computer in my experience. Also great financial performance: How many readers realize that Apple passed Microsoft in market cap and total revenues in 2010? And its higher P/E reflects greater investor confidence for future growth.

Posted by: zendog | February 1, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

To many of us, it is clear, that Mr. Lo spoke his mind, wishing that Steve Jobs would soon be history and not a governing force. Fortunately, Apple will have competent people to manage it, even if Mr. Lo's cruel and insensitive wish would come through.
We all wish the best to Steve Jobs and a long, long productive life.

Posted by: GMSucks | February 1, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Let's imagine a reality where Steve Jobs is not sick. Mr Lo says "blah blah until Jobs goes away." What do we read there? Jobs is an obstacle while he stays in Apple, Lo hopes he gets out. End of story. Why would the meaning be different just because Jobs is sick? It's not. But journalism gone paparazzi, Apple's P.R. and generally unfocused people say "OMG he wishes him to DIE, DIE, DIE! What a CREEP!!!!" I heard the original remark before all this feeding frenzy broke out and I heard what he said, not what some people wish to hear. I do not agree with him because I like Apple as it is now. But I'll confront Mr Lo on technical grounds, not on an arena turned quicksand by bleeding hearts. Trying to disqualify a technological discussion using this as an excuse is emotional vampirism.

Posted by: jorge_mt | February 1, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Lo, needs to worry about his own business..Apple seems to be doing quite well!!
Did it appear that he was commentating on Jobs health? Yes, it did.
DON'T blame others for your so called 'misinterpretation', which is what he appears to be doing in this,'My lawyer wrote this damn thing, I meant what I said", apology!!
He's mad and so is the rest of the industry, that isn't get rich off of Apple's back. He doesn't need them nor their opinions to succeed and they just can't stand that he is leaving them in the dust!
Apple's demise has been writen about for years..yet.. they are years ahead of everybody else..
because .. HE FOLLOWS HIS OWN INSTINCT, they can't stand that they are always trying catching up.

Posted by: orsay410 | February 1, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

yeah right, just like mel gibson didn't mean what he said.why do these people get down on their fellow techies? why not just try to improve their products in instead of peddling junk and then getting mad when people pick the best product. bought a netgear wireless when i bought my first mac in 2006. didn't work so i went with airport extreme.had a toshiba laptop before that and got the blue screen of death right out of the box. absolutely no help from the geeks at the store i bought it from. suffered for 3 years until somebody figured it out and it was the bios had to be updated. love mac so much i bought my mother and sister a couple of emacs as that is all they need. they work flawlessly. i don't have to keep running over and fixing them. nice!!!!

Posted by: JRHODA58 | February 1, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I guess he needed the publicity. I have yet to buy anything made by netgear. I wonder how many Americans have heard of that company?

Posted by: ummhuh1 | February 1, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like he didn't say he was sorry for saying it, just that people took it wrong.

Anyway, I like what Steve Jobs has done for Apple. I like the closed environment myself. I have everything I need from Apple and I know what I do have has been tested and will JUST WORK!

Long live Steve Jobs!

Posted by: jtsw | February 1, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Can't see anything wrong with his comments. It's not his fault Jobs is too sick to be at the helm. Jobs isn't some sort of god you can't say anything bad about. The point is quite clear. Apple and Jobs support a closed system, this is bad for both users and the industry. It was exactly what caused Apple to nearly go belly up in the nineties and I dare say it will be their nemesis again.

Without the iPhone Apple would already be dead, mac is fading fast and really there is no need, they are good products. Itunes will cause the next near fatal flaw in the Appledom, but its just corporate games, they all want to be the one and only.

Jobs is Jobs, he has his take and yet they are still only 5th place in world cell phone tech. Don't listen to what the PR spin is they only make huge profit because they charge so much more than anyone else for tech junk, that game will wear thin with consumers and forever keep them as just a bit player in actual usage.

Posted by: aleron | February 1, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

i think most of the people who are against apple are geeks or gamers. what they don't understand is most people just want to surf the web, check email, do photos etc. they just want a machine that works. have you ever noticed when you want to install programs that go on a PC or Mac, there's always about 2 or 3 paragraphs of instructions just to get it on a PC and only about 1 to get it on a mac. that's what most people want. a simple interface and one that just works. no bloat ware either. as i talk to people, they are migrating to apple as they get fed up with their PC' you have the younger generation that's going to stick with apple and keep the growth going. so for all you people wishing for apple's downfall, it isn't going to happen.sorry

Posted by: JRHODA58 | February 2, 2011 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I was fully willing to accept Mr Lo's apology until I read: "I sincerely apologize that what I said was interpreted this way."

How hard is it to apologize for what YOU say versus apologizing for how other people supposedly misunderstood you?

Posted by: Gorbe67 | February 2, 2011 3:45 AM | Report abuse

I regularly see people wish Steve Jobs dead online. Jealousy can be a profound motivator of hatred. So, I think Lo meant what he said. He just regrets the lack of tact and the dissemination of his words.

Posted by: query0 | February 2, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

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