BOSTON, 5 JANUARY 2009 - Apple CEO Steve Jobs has a hormone imbalance that is causing him to lose weight, he said in a letter posted Monday morning at the company's Web site in an attempt to squelch rumors about his health.
Questions about his health arose once again, after it was announced he would not be giving a keynote at Macworld Expo this week.
Jobs underwent treatment for a rare form of pancreatic cancer in mid-2004 and rumors regarding his health have periodically captured headlines and the blogosphere ever since. Although pancreatic cancer is generally one of the more difficult types of the disease to recover from and has grim survival rates, Jobs has maintained that he had a less aggressive type of cancer and that it was successfully treated. However, over the past couple of years he has been noticeably thinner to the point of looking gaunt.
"Unfortunately, my decision to have Phil deliver the Macworld keynote has set off another flurry of rumors about my health, with some even publishing stories of me on my deathbed," reads the letter, which refers to Apple Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller, who is scheduled to give the keynote address Tuesday at Macworld Expo in San Francisco. "I've decided to share something very personal with the Apple community so that we can all relax and enjoy the show tomorrow," the letter continues.
Jobs acknowledged that he lost weight throughout last year and said that the reason "has been a mystery to me and my doctors," but that after "sophisticated blood tests" he was diagnosed with "a hormone imbalance that has been 'robbing' me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy." He has begun treatment, but because of how much weight and body mass he has lost it is expected to take until late spring before he has regained the weight he lost.
He will continue as Apple CEO during his recovery, Jobs wrote, closing the letter by saying he has said more than he wanted to about his medical condition and is not going to say anymore.
A statement from Apple's board also was posted on the company site reiterating a previous statement "if there ever comes a day when Steve wants to retire or for other reasons cannot continue to fulfill his duties as Apple's CEO, we will let you know."
Letter from Apple CEO Steve Jobs about his health
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.
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