Yesterday's media furore – and the resultant effect on Apple's share price – around CEO Steve Jobs' decision not to present today's keynote address at Macworld has led to Jobs laying bare his health concerns.
In an open letter to the Apple community, Jobs explains that, for the first time in a decade, he has spent the holiday season with his family, rather than intensely preparing for a Macworld keynote.
"Unfortunately, my decision to have Phil deliver the Macworld keynote set off another flurry of rumors about my health, with some even publishing stories of me on my deathbed," he writes.
"I’ve decided to share something very personal with the Apple community so that we can all relax and enjoy the show [Macworld].
"As many of you know, I have been losing weight throughout 2008. The reason has been a mystery to me and my doctors. A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority.
"Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause – a hormone imbalance that has been “robbing” me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis.
"The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I’ve already begun treatment. But, 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.
"I will continue as Apple’s CEO during my recovery.
"I have given more than my all to Apple for the past 11 years now. I will be the first one to step up and tell our board of directors if I can no longer continue to fulfill my duties as Apple’s CEO. I hope the Apple community will support me in my recovery and know that I will always put what is best for Apple first."
The board of directors at Apple have issued a complementary statement regarding the rumours.
"It is widely recognised both inside and outside of Apple that Steve Jobs is one of the most talented and effective CEOs in the world," the board's statement reads.
"As we have said before, if there ever comes a day when Steve wants to retire or for other reasons cannot continue to fulfill his duties as Apple’s CEO, you will know it.
"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."