Steve Jobs Explains His Weight Loss in Healthnote

After Steve Jobs pulled out of giving the keynote at this year’s Macworld, there was rampant speculation once again about his health. The shares took a hit as investors began to worry about whether Jobs would be able to remain at the helm of the company. Despite an obvious distaste for talking publicly about his health, Apple released a letter today from Jobs designed to dispel the rumors that his cancer has returned, but which reveals that a mysterious “hormone imbalance” has caused him to lose weight. It also admits that this health problem indeed was one of the reasons why Jobs won’t be giving the Macworld keynote. (Apple’s chief marketing officer Phil Schiller will be filling in for him instead).

Here is an excerpt from Jobs’ healthnote:

Unfortunately, my decision to have Phil deliver the Macworld keynote set off another flurry of rumors about my health, with some even publishing stories of me on my deathbed.

. . . As many of you know, I have been losing weight throughout 2008. The reason has been a mystery to me and my doctors. A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority.

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.

The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I’ve already begun treatment. But, 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. I will continue as Apple’s CEO during my recovery.

Jobs stresses that if at any time in the future he cannot perform the duties of the CEO for health reasons or otherwise, he will inform Apple’s board. The board, in turn, promises to inform its shareholders and the public. Let’s wish him a speedy recovery.

(Here is Crunchgear’s take: “Apple left MacWorld because Apple gets nothing from MacWorld.”)