With Macworld around the corner, Apple fans have been crossing their fingers for a surprise appearance from Steve Jobs. The news of his absence caused quite the stir, especially with those who think the Apple boss is sick with his health is the reason he won’t be making the keynote speech.
At his most recent MacBook introduction event, Jobs took the stage to talk only a portion of the time, and instead introduced a number of key Apple executives up to the podium. This lead many to speculate that Jobs' health was indeed declining rapidly, enough to provoke Jobs into a transition period as outgoing CEO.
Today news emerged that the Chief Executive has a hormone imbalance that is affecting his health. In a letter from Steve Jobs himself, the CEO says the reason for his weight loss had been a mystery to him and his doctors but that they have finally found the reason for his increasingly gaunt appearance during his last few speeches. Jobs did share that he has already begun treatment.
For those who have been speculating about Steve’s health, this is big news. Shareholders have been keeping a close eye on Jobs' health and the is-he-isn’t-he game has been going on for months. Rumors ranged from cancer to the side effects of the operation he underwent to fight his cancer. This should provide some clarity on the health issue although it’s not certain whether shareholders will see this as good news or bad.
That said, an Apple source said a few weeks ago that as soon as Steve becomes unable to fulfill his duties, the board would know straight away. We think it's unfortunate that Jobs felt he had to share this information in order to quell rumors. We've said before that his health is his own business until it starts to affect the company and it's never nice to feel obligated to divulge details of your private life to the public.
Jobs said in his letter that he should be back up to normal weight by the spring. Check out the full letter (opens in new tab) below.
Dear Apple Community, For the first time in a decade, I’m getting to spend the holiday season with my family, rather than intensely preparing for a Macworld keynote. Unfortunately, my decision to have Phil deliver the Macworld keynote set off another flurry of rumors about my health, with some even publishing stories of me on my deathbed. I’ve decided to share something very personal with the Apple community so that we can all relax and enjoy the show tomorrow. As many of you know, I have been losing weight throughout 2008. The reason has been a mystery to me and my doctors. A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority. Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause—a hormone imbalance that has been “robbing” me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis. The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I’ve already begun treatment. But, just like I didn’t lose this much weight and body mass in a week or a month, my doctors expect it will take me until late this Spring to regain it. I will continue as Apple’s CEO during my recovery. I have given more than my all to Apple for the past 11 years now. I will be the first one to step up and tell our Board of Directors if I can no longer continue to fulfill my duties as Apple’s CEO. I hope the Apple community will support me in my recovery and know that I will always put what is best for Apple first. So now I’ve said more than I wanted to say, and all that I am going to say, about this. Steve
Apple (AAPL) stock gained $3.83, or 4.22 percent on Monday.