Apple won't say whether Steve Jobs was at the office today as part of his official return to the company. But a Valleywag spy spotted the CEO on his company's Cupertino campus. Jobs apparently left early:
I had lunch with a friend at Apple today and as I was leaving the campus I saw Jobs getting into a chauffeured black Lincoln Continental. This was right outside 1IL [Infinity Loop] at about two PM today.
A Lincoln is, of course, not Jobs' usual ride, and the notorious micromanager usually likes to be behind the driver's wheel; his Mercedes is known for turning up in Apple's handicapped parking spots. But Jobs just underwent a liver transplant and is only traveling to the Apple campus a "few days" per week, according to an Apple statement heralding his return to the company today. Presumably, the CEO's health is such that he needs to conserve his energy for activities other than driving, like running a company.
Earlier today, Apple declined to tell Bloomberg News whether Jobs was on campus. The company had good reason to avoid such a discussion: Entertaining that line of questioning might have led to a discussion of Jobs' itinerary and unwelcome question about why the CEO had to leave early, and about his health. More practically, it also would open the company up to endless questions from reporters about where Jobs is on campus that day. Of course, there's a good chance Apple is going to be getting those queries anyway, whether it answers them or not.
Anyone else spot the newly-returned honcho today? We'd love to hear from you.
UPDATE: Last week, Reuters spotted Jobs leaving the campus in a "black car."
UPDATE 2: The original version of that Reuters story last week had Jobs being "driven off by men in black suits with ear-pieces."
(Pic: Jobs at a MacBook press announcement on Apple's Cupertino campus in October via Getty)