After taking a six month medical leave, reports are starting to surface claiming that Steve Jobs is on track to make a full return to Apple within a few weeks, and that his lengthy recovery has been going well.
While Mr. Jobs has been on sick leave, some Apple directors have gotten weekly updates about his medical condition from the CEO's physician, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Jobs's recovery "is coming along" and he is on schedule to return to work later this month, said this person, who has seen Mr. Jobs in recent weeks.
"He was one real sick guy," added this person. "Fundamentally he was starving to death over a nine-month period. He couldn't digest protein. [But] he took corrective action."
Much of the buzz appears to be conjecture of the type that has swirled around Apple and Mr. Jobs for years. But two people who do business with Apple said senior Apple managers have told them the company is now trying to coordinate Mr. Jobs's return with a product launch or public event.
What's interesting is that the report explains that top Apple management is getting direct reports from Jobs' physicians. Even though Apple seems to be shrouded in secrecy regarding products, internal information regarding the well-being of the company's CEO is a different story. The fact that executives are receiving updates from Jobs' doctors (at all) is a sign that most of the reports have been positive. If the updates were negative and Jobs were not making such a healthy recovery, I highly doubt the same management team would have access to said information.
Throughout the past six months, the media has exploited stories about Jobs and his health, often times combining the CEO's name with the word "cancer" in headlines, simply looking for shameful attention. Aside from contributing to an already extremely volatile stock (AAPL), Apple was thrust into the spotlight with what seemed like a terrible situation. However, at Apple's annual shareholder meeting in February, the company stood firm on Jobs' return. Being only a couple of months into the six month leave of absence, Apple was only getting started showing the industry that they could deliver great products without Jobs being so heavily involved. After dipping to 52 week lows reminiscent of times before the iPhone, the stock is currently trading in the 140's.
If and when Jobs makes an epic messiah-like return to the company this month, you can expect the industry to pay close attention to any and all of Apple's announcements. The next few weeks will surely be some of the most exciting in recent months for Apple enthusiasts. We wish Jobs the best as always and continue to hope the best for him during this lengthy recovery.