Steve Jobs has a hormone imbalance that’s been causing his dramatic weight loss, the Apple CEO announced Monday. But he’s also undergoing treatment and expects to continue running Apple.
Jobs made the disclosure in a letter published on Apple’s Web site Monday morning. The CEO was addressing the latest rumors about his health that had began surfacing after he announced in December he wouldn’t deliver the keynote at this month’s Macworld Conference & Expo.
In his letter, Jobs acknowledged that he had been losing weight throughout 2008, and his doctors had been unable to determine the reason.
“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,” Jobs wrote in his letter.
According to Jobs, the remedy is a straightforward nutritional issue, and he’s begun treatment. “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,” said Jobs, adding that he expects to remain on as CEO.
“I have given more than my all to Apple for the past 11 years now,” Jobs added. “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.”
Tim Bajarin, president of consulting firm Creative Strategies, feels that Jobs’ statement should put the matter to rest. “I think it’s enough at this stage of the game, to the point where they know what they have to do to correct it. The market will feel much after hearing the statement from Jobs,” he said.
In a separate statement also published on Apple’s Web site, the company’s board of directors expressed its support for Jobs.
Jobs said he had “decided to share something very personal with the Apple community so that we can all relax and enjoy the show [Tuesday]” because of the latest round of rumors about his health. Last week, the tech blog Gizmodo reported that an unnamed source said Jobs had dropped out of this week’s Mac trade event because of “rapidly declining” health. The report caused Apple’s stock price to momentarily plummet last Tuesday.
Update: Added comment from analyst Tim Bajarin.