- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 6, 2009

NEW YORK | Apple Inc. founder and Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs, a survivor of pancreatic cancer, said Monday that a treatable hormone imbalance is to blame for the weight loss that has prompted worries about his health.

Mr. Jobs, 53, said in a public letter that his thinness had been a mystery even to him and his doctors until a few weeks ago, when “sophisticated blood tests” confirmed that he has “a hormone imbalance that has been robbing me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy.”

Mr. Jobs said he will undergo a “relatively simple” treatment and will remain in charge of Apple.

Mr. Jobs, who co-founded Apple in 1976 at the dawn of the personal-computer revolution, left in 1985 and returned as CEO in 1997, is considered a marketing and design guru whose demanding standards have made Mac computers, iPods and iPhones into standout products.

Mr. Jobs announced in 2004 that he had undergone successful surgery to treat a very rare form of pancreatic cancer - an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. The cancer is easily cured if diagnosed early. Mr. Jobs did not have a deadlier and more common form of pancreatic cancer, called adenocarcinoma.

Even so, fears that Apple would lose his leadership percolated in 2008 as Mr. Jobs appeared gaunt. Apple said he was suffering from a common bug, but the New York Times cited anonymous sources who said Mr. Jobs had undergone “a surgical procedure” to address the problem that had caused him to lose weight.

Concern about Mr. Jobs intensified after Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple said in December that he would not be making his annual keynote address Tuesday at the Macworld conference in San Francisco.

Officially Apple said Mr. Jobs would not take the stage because this year will mark the company’s last appearance at the show, which is run by a separate company, the IDG technology media group. Rather than have its CEO speak even as it prepared to wind down its participation in Macworld, Apple said Phil Schiller, an Apple marketing executive, would give the company’s presentation.

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