WSJ: Jobs had liver transplant, is set to return at end of June

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Apple’s chief executive Steve Jobs is said to have had a liver transplant in Tennessee two months ago after leaving Apple in January for an undisclosed medical condition after recent photos showed him losing a lot of weight, according to a new report by the Wall Street Journal.

The specifics of his transplant are still unknown, but the United Network for Organ Sharing states that there is no requirements for the person to be living in the state. As well, Tennessee has managed to have a shorter list of patients waiting for a transplant –the median number of days for all states was 306, but in Tennessee, it is 48 days.

The WSJ is reporting that the Board has knowledge of the operation as some board members, as part of his leave agreement, were kept up to date with his conditions at a weekly basis.

Jobs has had health problems before, disclosing on August 1 in 2003 that he had been treated for a rare pancreatic cancer called islet cell neuroendocrine tumour and had surgery to remove the cancer. The tumour was diagnosed at the time, according to a internal memo, and he did not require any chemotherapy or radiation.

This second health scare, which prompted him to leave Apple for six months, was because of a hormone imbalance after fears of another health scare was started by the blogs after his dramatic loss of weight. While it was said to be “relatively simple and straightforward” to treat, he was forced to issue another statement the next week saying that it had been complex.

While there is no word from Apple about the transplant, he is set to return to work at the end of June, but this could be at a reduced capacity as doctors are said to have advised him to “work part-time” for about a month (or even two). The Journal is also speculating that Tim Cook, who is the chief operating officer, to expand his role – and could be added to the board at a future date.

Despite the lack of Steve Jobs at the WWDC, Apple still managed to wow us after changing the entire MacBook line and the addition of a new iPhone, the iPhone 3GS. Cook has also managed to double the value of the company’s stock.

Image from: Marcopako/Flickr (Creative Commons)