Week in review: CEO musical chairs; sneaky Stuxnet

ITPro week in review

The past week has been full of intrigue as a pair of big-name Silicon Valley companies experience a slight changing of the guard in the corridors of power. On the other side of the world, new revelations emerge about the Stuxnet virus that struck the Iranian nuclear program.

Trouble at the top!

Last week AMD CEO Dirk Meyer left the processor and graphics card company under a cloud. This week it's the turn of both Apple and Google to tinker about with senior management.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has taken another medical leave of absence from the company he helped found. The reasons behind Jobs' latest sabbatical are unclear, but he has survived pancreatic cancer and had a liver transplant.

Although most pundits agree that Jobs has left an experienced and seasoned team of senior executives in charge, the ITPRO office is divided between those who believe a sick man deserves his privacy and those who think that a corporate executive who rescued his company from oblivion should be as upfront as possible with his shareholders.

Meanwhile, Google CEO Eric Schmidt surprised just about everyone by announcing he's stepping aside in favour of company co-founder Larry Page. Schmidt says he's staying on to advise the company as executive chairman, but we wouldn't be surprised if he's already headed off to Thailand to 'find himself' (use Bing Maps, it's quicker) or started punting for job offers on Twitter.

Netbooks are great. Please believe us.

Good news everyone! Netbooks are still very, very important! Taiwanese computer giant Acer was eager to let the world know that it will carry on making netbooks even as it plans to release a smrgsbord of tablets.

In other news, McDonald's announces that it will continue producing Big Macs as sales of Chicken McNuggets and salads take off, while Nike reassures investors that it will continue producing chavvy tracksuit bottoms while it makes lots of trainers.

It's all a big conspiracy man!

The low-brow crowd who don't keep track of the news are missing some cracking stuff in the world of foreign affairs. A report in the New York Times claims that the Stuxnet virus that targeted Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program was developed jointly by the Israelis and the Americans.

The malware is apparently even more sophisticated than previously thought by tricking the Iranians into thinking everything was fine while it ruined their uranium. Not only did the Israelis and our Yankee cousins apparently go to great lengths to test their cyberweapon before deployment and avoid harming other computers, it was even developed at Israel's own undeclared nuclear facility.

Irony is alive and well and for that we are grateful.