Memphis hospital confirms liver transplant for Jobs

Apple CEO Steve Jobs still isn’t talking about his health. But a Tennessee hospital confirmed a Wall Street Journal scoop over the weekend that said the secretive exec had a liver transplant.


Steve Jobs appeared at the 2008 MacWorld Conference and Expo. (Photo: Matthew Yohe via Wikimedia)

Jobs has been ill and took a leave from the company early this year. But his statements, and those of the company, have been vague – at best. The front-page Journal story saying he’d had a liver transplant was nearly as vague, lacking attribution for the claim.

Well, Methodist Hospital of Memphis, with Jobs’ permission, has ended the speculation on the veracity of the transplant report. In a statement, the hospital said he got a new liver because he was “the sickest patient on the waiting list at the time a donor organ became available.” Tennessee has shorter waiting times than most states.

Jobs’ outlook is good, the hospital said. Wonder what Apple and Jobs have to say on that score?

It’s especially curious that Methodist, operating under patient privacy rules, was more inclined to get the news out than Apple, a publicly traded company obligated by securities regulations to disclose material information.

There’s plenty of wiggle room in those regs. Still, as Columbia University law prof John Coffee tells Business Week, “Apple is probably an extreme example where the CEO’s health is very material. Walt Disney in 1950 would have been an equivalent.”

Update: A Reuters reporter spotted Jobs at the Apple campus on Monday, adding to speculation that the CEO may have returned to work.

Earlier: Jobs’ letter too vague for meaningful reporting

Leave a Reply