The face of the iEverything company is overseeing product development, leading a campaign against Adobe’s Flash and, in his spare time, backing a California law that promotes organ donations.
People close to Jobs who asked not to be named told Bloomberg News that the company co-founder is no figurehead. And industry watchers say it appears to be the case.
“Except for the fact that he’s lost a lot of weight, he’s the Steve Jobs of old,” said Tim Bajarin, who has followed Apple for more than two decades as founder of technology consulting firm Creative Strategies. “At the visionary level, technology and design level, he seems to be working at the same level as he was before he was sick. If I was an investor, I’d be thrilled.”
The 55-year-old Jobs unveiled the newest iPhone software last month and has been battling tech giants Microsoft and Google on multiple fronts.
“Steve Jobs is back and I think he’s invigorated because of the release of the iPad,” Michael Yoshikami, chief investment strategist for YCMNet Advisors, told Bloomberg. “He’s fully operational.”
Jobs, who underwent surgery for a rare form of cancer in 2004, took a 5 1/2-month leave of absence in January 2009 after revealing that a hormone imbalance was “robbing me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy.”
Jobs had his liver transplant in March 2009, traveling to a hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, because no liver donors were available in his home state of California. In September, he said his new liver came from a person in their mid-20s who had died in a car crash.
The experience prompted Jobs to reach out to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to back new California legislation aimed at encouraging organ donations.
“There were simply not enough livers in California to go around,” Jobs said at a March 19 event at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. “I was lucky enough to get a liver in time.”
After Jobs returned to work in June 2009, Apple said he would work from home for a few days each week. Until January, sightings of the CEO were rare at Apple’s campus in Cupertino, California, said an employee who asked not to be identified.
Since then, Jobs has been seen more frequently, even at the company cafeteria, said three employees who asked not to be identified. They said Jobs seems determined to gain back some of the weigh he lost during his ordeal.