Jobs offers some reassurance

Apple stock up after CEO's doctors find 'simple' solution to weight loss

Steve Jobs has been suffering from a hormone imbalance but is healthy enough to continue to fulfill his job functions, the Apple CEO said in an open letter Monday on the eve of the annual Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco.

Jobs, who also serves on the Disney board, traditionally gives the keynote speech at Macworld but said recently that Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vp worldwide product marketing, will perform that task this year. That set off a flurry of renewed speculation about Jobs' health.

"As many of you know, I have been losing weight throughout 2008," Jobs said in the letter. "The reason has been a mystery to me and my doctors."

After making further tests his top priority, Jobs said, "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."

Jobs, criticized by some investors as not being forthcoming enough about his health, didn't detail possible causes for the hormone imbalance. But he called it a "nutritional problem" with a "relatively simple and straightforward" treatment that he has begun.

"My doctors expect it will take me until late this spring to regain (my weight)," he said. "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."

Apple shares rose more than 4% in Monday trading.

Apple hasn't outlined succession plans in case Jobs leaves the CEO post.

"It is widely recognized both inside and outside of Apple that Steve Jobs is one of the most talented and effective CEOs in the world," the company's board said in a statement.

"Apple is very lucky to have Steve as its leader and CEO, and he deserves our complete and unwavering support during his recuperation. He most certainly has that from Apple and its board." (partialdiff)
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