Breaking news out of Cupertino: Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs has announced he is taking a medical leave of absence, stepping down as CEO of Apple from now until June 2009. Steve Jobs announced this new turn of events in an email to all Apple employees today. Tim Cook will assume the CEO position for the time being.
Steve Jobs’ health situation has been the subject of many a rumour ever since he was diagnosed (and recovered from) pancreatic cancer. Only last week Jobs sent out an email telling the world he had a hormonal imbalance that caused him to look thin, and that the doctors said it would take a few months for him to recover. As it turns out, the situation is a little more dire than they anticipated.
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.