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Monday, August 02, 2004
Jobs has surgery for cancer

Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs underwent surgery this weekend to remove a cancerous tumor in his pancreas, but told employees in an e-mail that the surgery was successful and said he expects to be back on the job next month.

In the e-mail, which was sent companywide and made available to the press, Jobs said his cancer was a rare and far more curable form than typical pancreatic cancer.

"I have some personal news that I need to share with you, and I wanted you to hear it directly from me," Jobs said in the e-mail, which he noted was typed from his hospital bed on a 17-inch Apple PowerBook. "This weekend I underwent a successful surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from my pancreas."

Jobs, 49, said he will be recuperating during August but plans to return to work in September. "While I'm out, I've asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple's day to day operations, so we shouldn't miss a beat," Jobs said.

Cook, Apple's executive vice president, heads sales and operations, as well as its Macintosh unit.

Jobs noted that he has "a very rare form of pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor," which can be removed trough surgery if caught in time and said he will not require chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

Jobs co-founded Apple but was forced out from the company in the late 1980s and launched a Unix-based computer company called Next. He returned to Apple in late 1996, when Apple acquired Jobs' startup, Next. He was named interim CEO in September 1997 and has remained in the top spot ever since, dropping the interim moniker along the way.

He has been widely credited with re-establishing Apple as a leader in design and returning the company to profitability. Most recently, he has been spearheading the company's move into digital music.

Earlier this year, he created a separate iPod division for the company, emphasizing the more prominent role music has assumed for Apple. In recent quarters, the company has sold roughly as many iPods as it does Macintoshes.

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