Peter Kafka

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Report: Steve Jobs Is Recovering From Liver Transplant, Still Coming Back to Apple

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The Steve Jobs health story takes yet another twist, this time a happier one: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Apple CEO underwent a liver transplant earlier this spring and is recovering from the operation.

Jobs, who stepped away from day-to-day management of his company in January, is still expected to return to work later this month, the Journal said.

The transplant, which the Journal says Jobs received “about two months ago,” may be related to a form of pancreatic cancer that the Apple (AAPL) CEO has been living with since 2003. In 2005, Jobs declared that he was “fine,” but the state of his health, or lack thereof, has been the subject of recurring speculation for years.

That reached a fever pitch during the past 12 months, spurred on by his unusually gaunt appearance at Apple’s 2008 Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple officials originally said Jobs was suffering from a “common bug.”

In January, following Jobs’s announcement that he was receiving treatment for a “nutritional problem” stemming from a hormonal imbalance, Bloomberg reported that he was considering a liver transplant.

Jobs’s response: “Why don’t you guys leave me alone–why is this important?”

The Journal says that Jobs, who was supposed to come back to work full-time by the end of this month, may ease into the role and that COO Tim Cook, who has been running the company day to day in his absence, may get more responsibility.

But the paper also says Jobs has been back to the company’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters:

“During his leave, Mr. Jobs has remained involved in key aspects of the company and reviewed products and product plans from home. He has also been seen at Apple’s headquarters, according to people who have seen him there.”


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald