SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc CEO Steve Jobs is on track to return to the company from his medical leave of absence as planned, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person who had seen Jobs in recent weeks.
The report that Jobs will return by the end of the month comes ahead of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco on Monday, an event at which Jobs unveiled Apple’s 3G iPhone a year ago but had not been expected to attend this time.
Jobs, 54, had said his medical leave would run until the end of June when he initially announced the move in January, setting the stage for a July return. Company representatives had said repeatedly he remained involved in strategic decisions and would return as scheduled.
Apple’s spokesman did not return calls for comment.
Some analysts and investors feared that Jobs, a survivor of pancreatic cancer, might not return if his health problems did not improve.
Jobs was treated for a rare type of pancreatic cancer in 2004. He appeared gaunt at an Apple event last June and in January said he would take a leave of absence because his health problems were “more complex” than originally thought.
The Apple CEO’s recovery “is coming along,” the Journal reported.
The report also said two people who do business with Apple have been told by Apple managers that the company is trying to coordinate Jobs’ return with a product launch or public event.
Jobs, a college dropout, co-founded Apple in 1976 in a Silicon Valley garage. After a falling-out with the board, he left the company in 1985.
Apple floundered, setting the scene for his return in 1997. The company has flourished under Jobs 2.0, rolling out the concept of a computer as a ‘digital hub’ along with the iPod and iPhone.
Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Gary Hill.
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