Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs will take a medical leave of absence until the end of June. Apple COO Tim Cook will take over for Steve until then. Apple shares are down about 7% in after-hours trading.
Apple Without Jobs: Fine For Now, But…
In a letter to Apple employees, Steve said, “during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.” Last week, Steve disclosed that he was suffering from a “hormone imbalance.”
Tim Cook should do fine as Apple’s interim day-to-day leader. He took control of the company last time Steve went on a leave of absence to recover from pancreatic cancer surgery. Steve says he plans to “remain involved in major strategic decisions” while he is out.
On Cook’s plate: Announcing potential updates to some of Apple’s popular computers like the iMac and Mac mini, and potentially a new iPhone. But Apple’s phone product cycle — releasing new models in late June or early July — suggests that Steve’s return could include announcing a new iPhone in June.
CNBC’s Jim Goldman says he spoke to two well known tech execs last week, one expressing “dire concerns” about Jobs’ health. Another exec said Jobs was in a “state of denial” about his health. (We wonder why Goldman kept this secret until now?)
Apple CEO Steve Jobs today sent the following email to all Apple employees:
I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.
In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June.
I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple’s day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan.
I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.
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