Emerging Technology

Apple CEO Steve Jobs will stay on despite illness

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Shares in computer giant Apple Corporation surged 5% after chief executive Steve Jobs reassured investors that he will remain chief executive despite battling an illness that has caused him to rapidly lose weight in recent months.

Shares in computer giant Apple Corporation surged 5% after chief executive Steve Jobs reassured investors that he will remain chief executive despite battling an illness that has caused him to rapidly lose weight in recent months.

In a letter to the “Apple community”, Jobs says a hormone imbalance is the reason for his rapid weight loss but the problem is “relatively easy” to treat.

“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 (northern) spring to regain it,” Jobs wrote.

“I will continue as Apple’s CEO during my recovery. I hope the Apple community will support me in my recovery and know that I will always put what is best for Apple first.”

Apple shares have fallen from a peak of $US192 in May 2008 to around $US95 since Jobs appeared at a conference last June looking gaunt and unwell.

Fears about Jobs’s health grew in December 2008 when Apple announced that he would not be making the keynote speech at the annual MacWorld conference, which began in San Francisco yesterday.

Analysts welcomed the news that Jobs – the driving force behind the Mac, the iPod and the iPhone – will remain at the top of the tree.

Vijay Rakesh, an analyst with Thinkequity, told TimesOnline: “It’s very positive that he came out and said this. I think it does put to rest all the speculation on his health and I think people will now start to focus on the business.”

Gadget lovers are not expecting any major new products to be launched at this year’s MacWorld event, the last that Apple will appear at.

While previous MacWorld keynote addresses have seen Jobs unveil the iPhone, iMac and iTunes products, the biggest announcement expected this year is the release of an Apple netbook to help the company grab a foothold in this booming market.

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