NEW YORK (AP) - Apple Inc. founder and Chief Executive Steve Jobs, a survivor of pancreatic cancer, said Monday that a hormonal imbalance is to blame for the weight loss that has prompted worries about his health.
Jobs, 53, said he will undergo a "relatively simple" treatment and will remain in charge of Apple.
"A hormone imbalance ... has been `robbing' me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy," Jobs said in a public letter, adding, "Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis."
Speculation about his health percolated in 2008 as Jobs appeared gaunt at public appearances. Those worries intensified after Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple said in December that Jobs would not be making his annual keynote address Tuesday in San Francisco at the Macworld conference.
Officially Apple said Jobs would not appear because this year will mark the company's last appearance at the show, which is run by a separate company, the IDG technology media group. Rather than have its CEO speak even as it prepared to wind down its participation in Macworld, Apple said Phil Schiller, an Apple marketing executive, would give the company's presentation.
But while some analysts expected this week's Macworld to help Apple show it could execute its long-term strategy without Jobs as its public face, others have questioned the company's viability without Jobs, who has emphasized the design principles that made standouts out of Apple's Mac computers, iPods and iPhones.
Investors appeared happy to have some clarity on his health. Apple's shares rose $3.42, 3.8 percent, to $94.17 in morning trading.
In his statement, Jobs said, "The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I've already begun treatment."
He added, "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."
The company's board released a statement separately, saying, "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."
Jobs announced in 2004 that he had undergone successful surgery to treat a form of pancreatic cancer - an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. The cancer is extremely rare and easily cured if diagnosed early. Jobs did not have a deadlier and more common form of pancreatic cancer, called adenocarcinoma.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)