Apple’s chief executive Steve Jobs, who has been dogged by speculation over his health, does not have recurrent cancer or another terminal illness
According to a source close to Apple, rumours that Jobs is suffering from cancer are over-exaggerated. The source said it was common for those recovering from pancreatic cancer to experience weight loss, due to complications with intestinal surgery.
In 2004, Jobs, currently 53, announced he had undergone successful intestinal surgery to remove a rare type of pancreatic cancer. But Apple’s decision to keep the illness a secret until he was given the all-clear has left investors suspicious.
During a keynote speech at last month’s World Wide Developer conference, it was clear that Jobs had lost a substantial amount of weight and was unable to hold the floor for as long as usual. He took regular breaks, allowing guest speakers to fill the gaps.
Apple immediately denied that Jobs was seriously unwell, saying that antibiotics for a common bug had led him to lose weight. But the reasons Apple offered for Jobs’ tired and gaunt appearance failed to convince investors.
The concerns over his illness resurfaced last week when Apple released its third quarter results. Despite announcing record profits, the firm warned that full-year revenues would be $500m lower than Wall Street expectations.
Coupled with Apple’s pointed refusal to discuss Jobs’ health, which it says is a private matter, the warning unnerved investors, sending the stock falling by ten per cent.
Many investors see Jobs’ leadership as inextricable from Apple’s successes in the last decade. Since his return to the company in 1996, he has overseen the launch of its most successful products, including the iMac, iPod, iTunes and iPhone.
Before he re-joined Apple, having been fired nine years earlier, it was struggling to survive as a mainstream computer manufacturer.