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Jobs Ready to Return to Apple Helm

Mon, 06/08/2009 - 8:08am
YUKARI IWATANI KANE and JOANN S. LUBLIN
(WSJ) - After months of uncertainty about Steve Jobs's health, the Apple Inc. chief executive appears on track to return from medical leave this month, said people familiar with Apple.

The big question now among Apple's business partners, investors and fans: Will Mr. Jobs make his reappearance at Apple's annual software developers' conference next week in San Francisco, possibly to unveil a new iPhone?

Mr. Jobs, a survivor of pancreatic cancer, went on medical leave in January. He had earlier exhibited significant weight loss, and cited a nutritional problem related to a hormone imbalance. The unexpected departure, and the few details about Mr. Jobs's ailment, left some investors worried about whether he would return.

Since then, Apple hasn't provided any updates on Mr. Jobs's health.

While Mr. Jobs has been on sick leave, some Apple directors have gotten weekly updates about his medical condition from the CEO's physician, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Jobs's recovery "is coming along" and he is on schedule to return to work later this month, said this person, who has seen Mr. Jobs in recent weeks.

"He was one real sick guy,'' added this person. "Fundamentally he was starving to death over a nine-month period. He couldn't digest protein. [But] he took corrective action.''

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