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Summary:

Apple CEO Steve Jobs will be taking a medical leave of absence from the company to focus on his health, though he will continue on as CEO and still be involved in “major strategic decisions.” COO Tim Cook will run day-to-day operations in his absence.

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs will be taking a medical leave of absence from the company to focus on his health, though he will continue on as CEO and still be involved in “major strategic decisions.” In an email to employees released by Apple, Jobs explains that he requested and was granted the absence by the company’s board of directors.

This is the email from Steve Jobs, which was released by Apple in its entirety as a press release:

Team,

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.

Steve

This isn’t the first time Jobs has had to step away from the company due to health concerns. On Jan. 14 2009, Jobs stepped down as CEO temporarily, also citing health issues. The news also came in the form of a personal email from Jobs to Apple employees. This second leave comes almost exactly two years after the first. At the beginning of that earlier leave, Jobs anticipated a summer return to the company. This time, his plans seem much less definite.

It was later revealed that Jobs left to have a liver transplant in April of 2009. Critics argued that by keeping the specifics of his health issues hidden, he was hiding material information from investors and damaging the company. Stock prices initially suffered following the news of Jobs’ first absence, and the same can probably be expected this time around. Stock values are already down in European trading.

While this is most definitely bad news for the Apple CEO, we wish him a speedy recovery.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

  1. Get well soon Steve.We need you because you have changed the landscape of IT and directly and indirectly led the wave of innovation.I am a fan of Steve.

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  2. Yep, get well Steve. Health and family are more important than anything else. Plus, what else would you bring to Apple anyway? All the products you’ve launched have years of growth ahead of them! Not to mention whatever else is in the pipeline. It’s probably time to take it easy and maybe… yes maybe return as a Charmain and/or strategic consultant. Nothing more. Just have the best of time with your family.

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  3. Ironically I just was in Cupertino and had a morning jog with Steve. Here are my accounts: http://bit.ly/hGIpr7

    Here’s to a speedy recovery!

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  4. I hope he can beat this latest setback. He’s defied the odds big time thus far and I truly hope he continues to do so.

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  5. [...] Steve Jobs taking a medical leave of absence, it’s worth looking at some of Apple’s most iconic successes and failures to date to [...]

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  6. [...] conference call today, along with the expected queries over Steve Jobs and his medical leave of absence. As always, TheAppleBlog will have highlights and commentary immediately following the [...]

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  7. Get well soon.

    http://bit.ly/ifyPxA

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  8. [...] storm of questions about where the two respective companies are going. Steve Jobs announced he was stepping away for a medical leave, retaining the CEO title while handing day-to-day duties to chief operating officer Tim Cook. [...]

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