. CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA: Apple Computer may have a new CEO, and a new determination to remain independent. Although the company has not confirmed it, The Wall Street Journal reported that the embattled Michael Spindler has stepped down in favor of Apple board member Gil Amelio, who left his position as head of National Semiconductor Corp. Board members are believed to be leaning against a merger with Sun Microsystems. The tough-minded Amelio is a good choice, an executive adept at rebuilding battered companies. San Francisco Bureau Chief David Jackson reports: "A new CEO will have a better chance to rejuvenate the company. Amelio gets high marks from everyone for his ability to focus on the core business of a company. He should be able to eliminate distractions; that's what Apple needs. Despite these developments, Apple's problems won't go away. Apple still needs to work to keep the Mac experience better than the Windows experience and to keep prices down. Both of these goals will take time and resources." That means more layoffs are probably in store, but Amelio will have to take care not to destroy Apple's already low morale.