First Pic of Apple CEO Steve Jobs Since Return

First photo of Steve Jobs since his return from medical leave posted online.

July 30, 2009, 10:35 AM

July 30, 2009 — -- Finally, a photo of Apple CEO Steve Jobs has surfaced, and done with technology that's close to his heart.

Even though Jobs returned from six months of medical leave about one month ago, nary a picture of the notoriously private executive has been seen by the public since then.

But yesterday the gossip Web site TMZ published a photo of Jobs leaving the company headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., around 3 p.m. Wednesday.

"BTW -- this photo was taken on an iPhone," TMZ wrote, referring to Apple's blockbuster mobile device launched by Jobs himself in January 2007.

Jobs returned to work in late June but has yet to make a public appearance, leaving industry watchers to continue their speculation about the status of his health.

"Steve is back to work. He is currently at Apple a few days a week and is working from home the remaining days. We are very glad to have him back," a company spokesman said upon his return.

The CEO's health -- and what it could mean for the future of Apple -- has been a hot topic ever since January, when he announced that he would take six months of medical leave.

Jobs has long been private about medical matters, including a rare form of pancreatic cancer that was successfully treated with surgery in 2004.

In mid-January, Jobs said in an e-mail to Apple employees that he would take a medical leave of absence from the company.

"Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well," Jobs wrote in the e-mail. "In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought."

Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, assumed chief executive responsibilities in Jobs' absence.

In late June, before Jobs returned to work, the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Tennessee confirmed Jobs had a liver transplant and was recovering well. The hospital's statement came after several days of intense speculation about his health.

Jobs Had Liver Transplant

In the statement, Dr. James Eason, the program director and chief of transplantation, did not say when the operation occurred, but said that Jobs "is now recovering well and has an excellent prognosis."

The announcement was made with Jobs' permission, according to the statement.

The hospital statement also explained how Jobs qualified for the transplant.

"Mr. Jobs underwent a complete transplant evaluation and was listed for transplantation for an approved indication in accordance with the Transplant Institute policies and United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) policies," the statement said.

"He received a liver transplant because he was the patient with the highest MELD score (Model for End-Stage Liver Disease) of his blood type and, therefore, the sickest patient on the waiting list at the time a donor organ became available," it said.

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