Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple who took leave late last year because of a medical condition, has had a liver transplant according to the Wall Street Journal.
His liver doner who came from the US State of Tennessee has not been identified.
The Wall Street Journal said that earlier this year, Jobs who has been fighting for a demolition order on a house he wants to demolish relocated from California to Tennessee due to shorter waiting list for patients seeking organs.
Both Apple and Jobs have refused to comment on his medical condition. An Apple spokesperson told the Journal that Jobs “continues to look forward to returning at the end of June, and there’s nothing further to say.”
Jobs is expected to return to the helm of Apple this month after nearly six months of medical leave. Jobs announced in January that he would be stepping down temporarily from the chief executive post while recuperating from a hormone imbalance. Some hoped his return to the company would coincide with an appearance at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco with an announcement of the new iPhone 3G S, but that did not pan out for Apple faithful.
Jobs, 54, has been the subject of heated speculation regarding his health since last June’s Worldwide Developers Conference, when he appeared to have lost a great deal of weight. At the time, Apple insisted that Jobs’ health was a private matter but revealed in early January that Jobs was suffering from a hormone imbalance that was impeding his body’s ability to absorb certain proteins.
In August 2004, Jobs underwent successful surgery to treat a rare form of pancreatic cancer, which sidelined him until September of that year. Much of the speculation over the past year had been over whether that cancer had returned.
Tim Cook, Apple’s chief operating officer, has been running the company during Jobs’ absence.
Apple spokesman Steve Dowling told AP he had no comment on the reports.
Dowling reiterated Apple’s standard line: “Steve continues to look forward to returning to Apple at the end of June and there is nothing further to say.” The company says his illness is very much a private concern.
That hasn’t stopped news sources from endless sometimes gruesome analyses, of what a liver transplant entails and what Apple’s corporate and ethical responsibilities are.
Few CEOs are considered as instrumental to their companies as Jobs has been to Apple since he returned in 1997 after a 12-year hiatus. With Jobs serving as head showman and demanding elegance in product design, Apple has expanded from a niche computer maker to become the dominant producer of portable music players and a huge player in the mobile phone business.
Jobs disclosed in August 2004 that he had been diagnosed with and cured of a rare form of pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. It’s likely that Jobs had part or all of his pancreas removed in 2004, says Dr Lewis Teperman, director of transplantation at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.
Patients who have their pancreas removed usually get diabetes and often lose weight. After the pancreas, the liver is the “next stop” for a tumor, says Teperman, who did not treat Jobs.
On the business side, news of Jobs’s medical leave in January crashed Apple shares to $79.15. Since then, however, Apple’s business has remained sturdy and its shares have been among the best performers in the technology sector.