Looking gaunt and frail, this is Steve Jobs seen for the first time since his surprise departure from Apple last week.
This picture, taken outside the technology mogul’s California home, fuelled fears that Jobs was nearing the end in his eight-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
The 56-year-old Apple founder looked even thinner than he did during his last public appearance two months ago.
Jobs, who founded Apple in his garage in 1976, seemed almost too weak to hold himself up as he prepared to get into a waiting car in Palo Alto, northern California.
He wore a black long-sleeved T-shirt, black shorts and sandals instead of his familiar turtleneck and jeans for the trip to nearby San Francisco, the city where he was born.
Jobs made no direct reference to his health problems in his letter of resignation to the Apple board last week.
He wrote only that he had always said he would step down as CEO if he felt he could no longer do the job to his high standards.
A steady stream of flowers and gifts have arrived since the announcement at the house where he has mostly remained behind closed doors with his wife and four children.
Jobs had surgery to remove a tumour after being diagnosed with a rare type of pancreatic cancer in 2003 and had a liver transplant two years ago in a further attempt to prevent the spread of the disease.
Although Apple shares took a 5 per cent hit after Mr Jobs stepped down, market fears were allayed because he was staying on as chairman.
Now the picture underlines the fact that he is unlikely to play any major role in the day-to-day running of the company he founded in his garage in 1976.
Jobs went on medical leave in January, but still introduced the second generation iPad a couple of months later and has led the development of the iPhone 5 and iPad3.
On the day Job’s announced his resignation, Apple board member Art Levinson, chairman of Genentech, issued the following statement on behalf of the Apple board: ‘Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company.
‘Steve has made countless contributions to Apple’s success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple’s immensely creative employees and world class executive team.
Though his resignation letter was short and to the point, it was obviously full of emotion as he thanked ‘the best friends he made for life’ at the billion dollar company.
He is seen as the heart and soul of Apple, with analysts and investors repeatedly expressing concern over how the company, based in Cupertino, California, would handle his departure.
He has now been replaced by former Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook.
Cook ran Apple when Jobs went on medical leave and has taken over day-to-day operations since early this year, with the company racking up record revenue and profit.
He was previously responsible for Apple’s worldwide sales and operations, including management of the supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries, according to ABC.
He has been at the company since 1998 and was recently given a $5million bonus as well as 75,000 restricted stock units as a thank you for his ‘outstanding performance’.
Apple officially became the most valuable company in America this month and is now worth $338billion, $1billion more than Exxon Mobil.
Pancreatic cancers are generally some of the most lethal of all tumours, and the most common type often kills within six months.
Jobs has battled a less common variety that grows far more slowly and develops in the hormone-secreting section of the pancreas, according to USA Today.
Although diagnosed in 2003, his illness was not disclosed until the following year, after he’d had surgery.
The fiercely private CEO has said relatively little about his health problems, although he did acknowledge his bout with cancer during a commencement speech at Stanford University, saying: ‘No one wants to die. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it.’
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