In the past, Steve Jobs and Apple have left many things to speculation, especially with regards to Jobs’ health issues. Speculation about his health intensified in 2008 when Jobs appeared gaunt at public appearances. Worries regarding Jobs’ health arose again after Apple’s announcement that the 2009 edition of Macworld would be its last, and that Jobs wouldn’t give the keynote. Then, in late December, another rumor about Jobs’ health arose. It appears now that the rumors haven’t been entirely untrue.
In an open letter to the Apple community, Jobs addressed his weight loss in 2008, which he says has been caused by a hormone imbalance that has been “robbing” his body of the proteins it needs to be healthy. According to the letter, Jobs decided to get to the bottom of this weight loss and made it his biggest priority a few weeks ago. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed the diagnosis.
Fortunately, the remedy for Jobs’ nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward. Jobs expressed his intentions to continue on as Apple’s CEO while receiving treatment and regaining the weight he lost. "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." You can read the full text of Jobs’ letter here.
In response to Jobs’ letter, Apple’s Board of Directors released a statement reiterating the company’s and the board’s “complete and unwavering support during his recuperation.”
This isn’t the first time Jobs has faced health issues. If you’ll recall, he announced in 2004 that he had undergone successful surgery to treat a form of pancreatic cancer. While there are no hard-set guidelines that dictate how companies handle health concerns concerning top-ranking employees, it’s pretty obvious to anyone who has followed Apple or the company’s stock that a health-related reason for a Jobs-less keynote would be a huge blow to Apple's stock. At the time of this writing, Apple’s stock was up, perhaps as an indication that this particular health scare is severe than many investors had thought.