Apple: ‘Steve Jobs is back to work’

Technology's most closely watched chief executive is officially back on the job, according to an Apple (aapl) spokesman.

“Steve Jobs is back to work," chief spokesperson Steve Dowling told CNN.com. "He is at Apple a few days a week and working from home the other days. We’re glad to have him back.”

Jobs, who is recovering from two major surgeries -- one to remove a tumor from his pancreas nearly five years ago, the second a transplant performed two months ago to treat end-stage liver disease -- was scheduled to return from a six-month leave of absence before the end of June.

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Apple's share price took a hit after news of the liver transplant appeared in print on June 20, but the stock has recovered since.

Jobs was spotted on Apple's Cupertino, Calif., campus a week ago -- walking on his own without cane or wheelchair -- but it was unclear whether that was a one-shot appearance or the beginning of a more normal work schedule.

Today's statement suggests that he will be more present -- and more deeply involved in managing Apple's affairs -- than many analysts suspected.

Apple COO Tim Cook has been running the company in Jobs' absence and has won high marks Apple watchers for his steady hand.

No new photographs of Jobs have surfaced since his return (the one here was taken in June 2008). Until last week, he had not been seen in public since he hosted an Apple event in Cupertino last fall.

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