Apple CEO Steve Jobs has just announced that he is taking a medical leave of absence according to a release issued by the company today. Here’s the email memo Jobs sent to Apple employees today.
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.
While it’s unclear what the reason is for the medical leave, Jobs’ previous medical history includes Pancreatic cancer as well as a liver transplant. In 2004, Jobs contracted Pancreatic Cancer, which he beat. Then Jobs underwent a liver transplant in 2009, and also made a full recovery. During Jobs’ absence in 2009, COO Tim Cook took over Apple’s day-to-day activities, similar to this situation. We may hear more about Jobs health condition tomorrow, when Apple releases Q4 and 2010 earnings. Clearly Jobs is a survivor; and has fought hard against his medical battles. Hopefully he will conquer this challenge as well.