Apple CEO Steve Jobs is going on a medical leave, the company announced. “At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health,” Jobs said in an email to Apple employees. “I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company.”
Apple COO Tim Cook will lead the company’s day-to-day operations, as he did when Jobs took a medical leave two years ago.
Under Cook, Apple will be in good hands, and Jobs’ leave should have no effect on Apple’s expected release of the iPad 2 and iPhone 5.
However, Jobs — Apple’s co-founder — is integral to the company’s product development, so a lengthy leave (or his eventual retirement) could be bad news for Apple.
“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,” Jobs said in his note.
It’s unknown whether Jobs’ health situation is related to his liver transplant from 2009, whether his cancer has returned, or if there is a new problem. Long term complications to liver transplants can include skin cancer, lymphoma and a host of infections. We don’t anticipate Apple to elaborate, as it has not been forthcoming with Jobs’ health details in the past.
Apple is scheduled to report earnings tomorrow, so perhaps we’ll learn more then. (We hope everything is all right, of course.)
Here is the release, including an email Steve Jobs sent to all employees:
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.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.