Bloomberg: Apple CEO Steve Jobs may be facing surgery to remove rest of pancreas

“Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs could be facing surgery to remove his pancreas, doctors say,” Connie Guglielmo, Rochelle Garner and Jason Gale report for Bloomberg.

“Jobs said yesterday he’s taking a five-month leave of absence after discovering that his health problems are “more complex” than he thought last week,” Guglielmo, Garner and Gale report. “Jobs had a procedure similar to a Whipple operation, which involves removing parts of the pancreas, bile duct and small intestine, after he was diagnosed with a rare type of pancreatic cancer in 2004. A potential side effect of this procedure is that the organ has to be removed to prevent pancreatic leak, and the patient has to be kept alive with insulin to regulate blood sugar, said Robert Thomas, head of surgery at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne.”

Guglielmo, Garner and Gale report, “‘You might have to take the rest of the pancreas out,’ said Thomas, 66, who first performed the Whipple procedure more than 20 years ago. ‘You’re on significant doses of insulin, and it’s not easy to manage. The person has the risk of severe diabetes.’ Thomas hasn’t treated Jobs and doesn’t know details of his condition… Jobs, 53, said he would remain CEO while taking a medical leave of absence until the end of June. Just last week, Jobs said his treatment should be ‘simple and straightforward.'”

“‘There’s been too little information, and the information that’s come out has been vague — creating more concern rather than conveying a sense of certainty,’ said Nell Minow, founder of the Corporate Library, a research firm specializing in corporate governance based in Portland, Maine. ‘They have achieved confusion, and a sense of being unsettled,'” Guglielmo, Garner and Gale report. “Apple is not providing information beyond the statement, said spokesman Steve Dowling. The company’s directors, including former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and Google Inc. CEO Eric Schmidt, either couldn’t be reached or declined to comment.”

“Jobs hasn’t been seen in public since October,” Guglielmo, Garner and Gale report. “‘This should not have gone on this long — it’s not healthy for the business,’ said Charles Elson, director of the University of Delaware’s John Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance. ‘The fact the issue has played around for months makes you wonder at the responsiveness of the board.'”

Full article here.

Sigh. Will somebody pleeease whip up a photoshopped “MacBook touch” or something?!

14 Comments

  1. “‘There’s been too little information, and the information that’s come out has been vague — creating more concern rather than conveying a sense of certainty,’

    —————————-

    Well perhaps, there is no certainty yet if Steve Jobs is still being diagnosed and tested.

  2. Really sick of the armchair pundits on this issue already. The big headline here is that Steve Jobs might need drastic surgery, but when you read the details it’s all just speculation based on no facts at all.

    People will read the article and repeat it around the world. Blogs like this one will post links and a million people will read that and comment, ALL BASED ON NO FACTS AT ALL.

    Sorry for shouting, but this whole thing is so lame it hurts. I can hardly wait for the Greenpeace articles speculating he got the cancer from licking his iPod cable, the Christian right blaming it on his drug use, etc. etc. ad infinitum …

    Bleh.

  3. 25 billion in the bank, products everyone wants, a media empire showing the rest how it’s done.

    All this is just going to go away if Steve Jobs does? No one else thinks like this about any other company. Is Jobs to closely tied with Apple? That’s not possible, to a great extent he is Apple. But please, idiot tech and financial pundits, Steve Jobs doesn’t turn on the iTunes servers when he gets in in the morning. Aplle is perfectly capable of runnin g, quite well, without Jobs. Even for a few months.

    Which it’s not, because he is still calling the shots.

    As others have already pointed out, this is just tiring.

    But it fun to imagine how no one would skip a beat if Gates had cacked 5 years ago. They call it a seamless transition (Lyons called it “classy” for some reason) but the fact was that Microsoft just prints money thru it’s abusive software monopoly, everyone knows it, and 8 years of CES keynotes have proven conclusively that Gates is no visionary, and hasn’t done anything of note for at least as long. He was inconsequential to the day to day of Microsoft, because the day to day of Microsoft can be handled by a cash register.

  4. I used to think people are kicking around the issue of Jobs’ health to make a buck. But I now know it’s because they are stupid. What else do they want? He is taking six months off. Would they rather he resigned? How is that any better?

    And most of these critics are the same morons that questioned Jobs and Apple’s products every at every step ever since he came back to Apple. They said Apple should get out of PC business, iPod is a fad, iTunes will fail, Apple can never make an impact in the smartphone market. They said he is impossible to work with, a dictator, and that he would cause a brain drain when he came back to Apple.

  5. Today’s Wall Street Journal Tech section essentially confirms yesterday’s NY Times report that sources who know something about Job’s medical condition say he has a problem related to malabsorption, not a recurrence of cancer.

    See:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123196896984882901.html
    A person familiar with the situation said that Mr. Jobs didn’t have a recurrence of cancer and that he was taking a leave of absence because the treatment to fix the problem of not being able to absorb proteins was more complex than initially believed.

    Meanwhile, Bloomberg is quoting doctors who know nothing about Jobs’ medical condition, and the high school bullies who run Gizmodo are having nerd orgasms attacking CNBC’s Goldman and anyone who disagreed with their original, breathless article that Jobs was dying and leaving Apple.

  6. From a business and investor perspective it comes down to this:

    1. Was Steve able to perform his job effectively before taking a medical leave of absence? YES and the numbers prove it.

    2. Has Apple’s overall performance been satisfactory given the current US and world economic melt down? YES. Take a look at Apple’s sales numbers and then everyone else.

    3. Did Steve transition his role at the right time for Apple to continue it’s success? YES, Steve held on as long as he could to effectively perform his job.Investors should be thankful Steve stayed the course giving it his all to Apple. And also transferring his role responsibly when he recently discovered he needed to go on extended medical leave.

    The timing of these events unfortunately centered around the same time as the MacWorld expo (Apple in the news spotlight) and that is precisely why Apple had to move away from Macworld. Apple needs the freedom to come out with new products and services at any given time of the year to better serve it customers, investors and employees.

  7. Have none of these reporters ever had a medical problem and discussed it with a doctor? Doctors frequently change their diagnose based on new information, and they often give vague diagnoses that imply symptoms could be one of several things. They essentially don’t know anything, especially with rare or complicated situations.

    I have two relatives who each spent *months* trying to get a diagnosis for some odd symptoms (one of them has weight symptoms that sound a lot like Jobs’ situation).

    My point is that Steve isn’t necessarily lying or even being evasive — he and his doctors just may not know what’s going on. The “new information” could be further surgery or just that doctors now think he needs to rest and focus on his health for a few months.

    And why not? Apple couldn’t be in better shape, and Steve said he’d still be around for any “strategic” decisions, but let Tim Cook and the others handle the busywork for a while.

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