In a move that will no doubt have blogs, investors, and other news and media afire with renewed rumors regarding the exact nature of his condition, Steve Jobs has just elected to take a leave of absence from his position as CEO of Apple, Inc. He will be replaced by Tim Cook, who will act as interim CEO in his absence.
This news comes on the heels of Jobs’ absence at the Macworld Keynote, where he was replaced by Phil Schiller, and a letter from Jobs personally addressing the rumors surrounding his health and claiming that the issue was a hormonal imbalance, which was easily treatable.
The leave of absence will last until the end of June of this year, during which time Tim Cook will be in full control of the company’s day-to-day management. Trading of Apple (AAPL) stocks was halted immediately upon the release of the news. The trade freeze will give Apple some time to mitigate the negative effect of the news on share prices, but they will undoubtedly drop.
The following letter, posted by MacObserver.com, was sent from Steve Jobs to Apple employees, and explains the reasons for his temporary departure:
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.
Jobs appears to remain optimistic, and won’t keep his hand out of things altogether, which is good news for the company. We here at TheAppleBlog wish him a speedy recovery.