Many readers will consider this post inappropriate, and we apologise in advance for that. After seeing photos of Steve Jobs at WWDC yesterday (AAPL), however, we weren’t the only ones who wondered whether Steve Jobs is sick again.
For almost any other human being, this topic would be a personal matter. In this case, however, tens of billions of dollars of market value rests on Steve’s remaining healthy and at the helm of Apple for many years, so his health is a material business concern.
In the photos we saw of yesterday’s event, Steve appeared dangerously thin. The most likely explanation, we think, is that Steve changed his diet after his bout with cancer a few years ago. Given that Steve did not believe that that cancer needed to be disclosed publicly until after the fact, however, it also seems possible that the weight loss could be an indication that Steve’s cancer has reappeared.
We hope it hasn’t. As we argued here, however, we believe that Steve’s cancer should have been disclosed earlier, and–if it ever recurs–should immediately be disclosed. It seems inappropriate to ask Apple to issue a statement confirming that Steve is in perfect health, but we know such a statement would make some of concerned Apple and Steve fans feel better.
UPDATE: Apple spokeswoman Katie Cotton says that Steve is recovering after being sick prior to WWDC. We are glad to hear it. WSJ:
In response to a question about his health Tuesday, an Apple spokeswoman said Jobs was hit with a “common bug” in recent weeks but he still felt it was important to participate in the Apple conference. The spokeswoman said he’s now on the mend with the aid of antibiotics.
Some context here: This isn’t the first time observers have seen Steve onstage and worried aloud about his health. Here’s Forbes publisher Rich Karlgaard wondering about his cancer after seeing him at the 2006 WWDC; Wired’s Leander Kahney had the same thought. This year’s worriers included Valleywag’s Owen Thomas and The Globe and Mail’s Mathew Ingram.