Steve Jobs to Take Health-related Leave of Absence

Steve Jobs is handing over the company to COO Tim Cook as he is going to take a medical leave of absence that could last until the end of June 2009. Jobs in his letter says he is going to be back, but his recovery is going to take a lot longer than originally thought. In a previous message, he indicated that he had some hormone-related concerns. Jobs was also treated for pancreatic cancer a few years ago.

If you are looking for speculation about Jobs’ mortality, Apple and other ghoulish musings, you would be better served to look elsewhere. I respect his privacy and wish him speedy recovery and send him and his family my prayers and best wishes. Apple (s appl) CEO Steve Jobs has sent this note to employees, which the company has just released via a press release:

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.