Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs, who has been on medical leave for undisclosed reasons since January, received a liver transplant two months ago in Tennessee but is recovering well, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.
The newspaper did not specify a source for the report, which comes as Jobs is said to be preparing to return to work.
Apple spokesman Steve Dowling declined to comment Saturday on whether Jobs had a liver transplant. But he said in a statement that “Steve continues to look forward to returning to Apple at the end of June and there is nothing further to say.”
Jobs, 54, disclosed in August 2004 that he had been treated for a form of pancreatic cancer.
But the gaunt appearance of the charismatic co-founder of Apple last year fueled speculation that he could be suffering from a severe medical condition. On Jan. 5, he said that he had a treatable hormone imbalance and that he would continue to run the company.
The following week, however, Jobs went on leave for medical issues he said were “more complex” than he had thought. Apple’s chief operating officer, Tim Cook, took over daily duties.
Jobs’ health is a concern for investors because of the influence he has had in shaping Apple’s products and design choices. Jobs regained control of the company in 1997.
The Journal said in Saturday’s editions that the type of cancer Jobs had can metastasize in other organs, according to William Hawkins, a doctor specializing in pancreatic and gastrointestinal surgery at Washington University in St. Louis.
The paper quoted Hawkins as saying liver transplants to treat metastasized neuroendocrine tumors are controversial because livers are scarce and the procedure’s efficacy hasn’t been proved.