Two people familiar with Steve Jobs’ current medical treatment said he was not suffering from a recurrence of cancer, but a condition that was preventing his body from absorbing food, reports the New York Times. Doctors have also advised him to cut down on stress, which may be making the problem worse, these people said.
Jobs, 53, recovered from pancreatic cancer after surgery in 2004, but has appeared unusually gaunt at recent appearances.
Worryingly, Mayo Clinic endocrinologist Michael D Jensen told the Wall Street Journal:“Most hormonal
problems are eminently treatable. (But) I would be hard pressed to think of
something (other than a recurrence) that would require a five month
leave of absence.”
Jobs, in a staff letter, said he was taking medical leave till the end of June because "I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought".
In June last year, when Jobs appeared strikingly thin at a company conference for programmers, an Apple spokeswoman said he was recovering from a “common bug.” Soon afterward, Jobs acknowledged to the New York Times that he was suffering from digestive difficulties related to an operation he had as part of his cancer treatment. Apple revealed in early January that Jobs was suffering from a hormone imbalance that was impeding his body's ability to absorb certain proteins. recalls CNET News.
Jobs, in his staff letter, said he was passing day-to-day management of the company to his chief operating officer, Tim Cook, reports the Wall Street Journal. But he added:" As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out." Cook filled in for Jobs in 2004 when the Apple chief took time off to battle his cancer.
"Apple loses billions"
At 4:46pm, before Jobs’ announcement was made public, Apple’s stock stood at $85.60-a-share. By 5:00pm just after the announcement hit, the stock had plummeted nearly 10 percent to $78.44-a-share. That’s almost $6.4 billion lost off the company’s market cap in 14 minutes.
The stock actually fell even further after the initial plunge, by 5:08pm it was at $77.94-a-share. Since then, it’s come back a bit, and currently stands just a tad above the $80-a-share mark — still well below where it ended the trading day.
Cook: "The guy who makes trains run on time"
is thought to be a good choice to run the company during Jobs’ absence,
although he’s not the person who will develop Apple’s next iconic
product, said Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates,
Cook’s the guy who makes the trains run on time. He’s not the creative
genius,” Kay said. “Even though in some sense he is an excellent
manager and is the backstop for Steve … that’s not going to do anything
except make the trains run on time. That’s not going to decide what the
train should look like in five years.”
majored in industrial engineering at Auburn University in Alabama and
did his MBA at Duke University, joined Apple in 1998 after stints at
Compaq Computer Corp. and other companies. He put Apple's operations
back on track and is considered to be the key architect behind the
company's supply chain and logistics strategy that allows the company
to efficiently outsource the manufacturing of its products in Asia.
Jobs and his designers
Jobs' health is key to Apple, reports the Wall Street Journal. He co-founded Apple in 1976, was dismissed in a boardroom coup in 1985 and began a second leadership stint at Apple in 1997. He is widely credited for reviving the then-struggling computer maker in the late 1990s with hit products such as the iMac desktop computer.
While Jobs takes an unusual hands-on role in design decisions, people familiar with the company's inner workings say the company's design team should be able to keep churning out innovative products, barring an exodus of top talent, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Jobs serves more like an "editor in chief" in refining and improving ideas for Apple gadgets, according to former Apple executives such as Bill Bull.The hands-on work of Apple's innovations depends more directly on subordinates such as Jonathan Ive, an Apple senior vice president who oversees the company's industrial design team. His group is primarily associated with the physical look and feel of products, such as the unusually slender Macbook Air.
Jobs on death
Jobs has publicly talked before about how the prospect of death spurs him on, the Journal adds. In a commencement speech he gave at Stanford University in June 2005, Jobs told the crowd that "no one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share."
He added, "Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life."
The Jobs email
Jobs sent the following email to all Apple employees:
I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal
with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health
continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else
at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my
health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.
In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to
allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have
decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June.
I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple’s day to day operations, and
I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As
CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our
board of directors fully supports this plan.
I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.