Steve Jobs is to take a period of medical leave from his post at Apple, citing medical concerns as his reasoning.
Though the nature of his state of health has not been stated, Jobs will be handing over the majority of duties to Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook for an undisclosed amount of time. Jobs had intermittent spells of ill-health, coming back to the limelight after a battle with pancreatic cancer two years ago.
Jobs sent this message to Apple staff, revealing his medical leave.
At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company.
I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for all of Apple’s day to day operations. I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011.
I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, my family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy.
The news will likely affect Apple shares, as the charismatic Steve Jobs is very much the public face of Apple. However, with US markets closed as part of celebrations of Martin Luther King day, such news wont touch down till at least Tuesday.
Either way we wish Steve Jobs all the best, and look forward to seeing him fitting fit and turtle-neck-sweatered at an Apple event in the near future.