Following Apple‘s announcement that this week’s Macworld Expo in San Francisco would be its last —and that this year’s the keynote address would be given by Phil Schiller rather than Steve Jobs—the industry press has been awash in a flurry of rumors and speculation of about the state of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ health. Investors worry that no clear path of succession to the Apple CEO seat has been articulated, while Job’s very apparent weight loss following surgical treatment for pancreatic cancer has been on display at public events…even prompting Jobs himself to quip that rumors of his death had been greatly exaggerated following the mistaken publication of an obituary. Of course, barely a month later, Apple’s stock price was slammed by fabricated reports Jobs had suffered a heart attack.
Now, in an unusual move, the famously private Jobs has issued a public letter seeking to calm both investors and the industry press about the state of his health, in which Jobs claims his recent weight loss has been diagnosed as a hormone imbalance that is “relatively simple and straightforward” to treat. Jobs anticipates it will take some time to put the pounds back on, but will continue as Apple’s CEO during recovery. And Jobs ends the note with a move to reclaim his privacy: “So now I’ve said more than I wanted to say, and all that I am going to say, about this.”
Apple’s board of directors issued a statement in support of Jobs, noting that he ever wants to retire or for other reasons can’t fulfill his duties as CEO, they will inform investors and the public.
The unusual move may placate the financial community and dampen speculation about the Apple CEO’s health, but, of course, no one is likely to be satisfied until they see Jobs regaining weight he lost throughout 2008.