No sooner had the Los Angeles Times today prominently raised the question of Steve Jobs' health -- and the need for a succession plan for both the company and shareholders -- did Apple and Steve Jobs finally address the elephant in the room head on. In a just released letter to the Apple faithful, Jobs indicated that he is suffering from a "hormone imbalance" that has caused his very noticeable physical changes, including weight loss.
Jobs' letter indicates that Jobs himself had not known what his self-proclaimed "mystery" affliction apparently is until only recently. In any event, Jobs indicates that he is sufficiently healthy for now to continue to lead the Apple ship and management "core." Although the markets are reacting favorably to Jobs' pronouncements (up 2.5% as of the time of this post at 7 am Pacific time), many still find the need to understand Apple's succession plan. Jobs' persona is so inextricably and uniquely entwined with the Apple persona that it will be difficult for the Apple pixie dust to continue to fall so intensely once another exec ultimately takes over the helm -- no matter how capable that person is.