As if Steve Jobs and Apple haven't commanded enough headlines during the past couple of weeks. Late Friday, Bloomberg reported that Jobs is considering a liver transplant.
In a telephone interview with Bloomberg's Connie Guglielmo, Jobs refused to comment on his health status: "Why don't you guys leave me alone--why is this important?"
The article, which quotes anonymous sources said to be "monitoring his illness," says that Jobs is weighing the transplant "as a result of complications after treatment for pancreatic cancer in 2004."
A spokesman for Apple said the company had no comment on the report.
On Wednesday, Jobs announced he was stepping aside for a six-month medical leave of absence. The mystery over his drastic weight loss has fed all sorts of speculation about what's ailing him. In an e-mail to Apple employees, Jobs wrote the following:
"...during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought. In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June."
"I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple's day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan."
Jobs, who is the closest to what is a rock star in the tech industry, wants his private life to be private. And like other celebrities, he would prefer that people stop obsessing about his health or other aspects of his private life. But it goes with the territory.
Celebrity obsession is a part of the culture-just check to see what the most popular search terms are on Google or watch Entertainment Tonight.
Still, it's understandable that Jobs wants to be left alone to deal with his medical problems. I sympathize. He doesn't have to say anything to anyone. But Apple Inc. might as well be "Jobs Inc." to many people. As the head of a company that is almost synonymous with this name, he unfortunately has some disclosure obligations.
Dan Farber contributed to this report