Steve Jobs Taking Medical Leave, Tim Cook To Stand In At Apple

Steve Jobs is in the news again today, and not for the best of reasons. Last week, Apple's Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook took the stage at a Verizon Wireless event in New York City in order to co-introduce the iPhone 4 for VZW. Many found that peculiar. Why wouldn't Steve Jobs take this opportunity to introduce such a monumental phone in the U.S. market? There's no firm confirmation that Jobs was already leaning towards taking a break, but we wouldn't doubt it given today's report.

Jobs, who is and will remain Apple's CEO, is taking a medical leave of absence from the company that he turned around. This is obviously huge for the company. It's the second time that this has happened in recent memory, with Jobs leaving to get a liver transplant back in 2009. He sent out an email to the entire staff, which notes that he will press onward being the CEO and will still be involved with major strategic decisions. But the day to day operations will be handled by Tim Cook, leaving Jobs with more time to focus on his health.

It's hard to say when Jobs will return, and what kind of impact this will have on Apple at large. It's not crazy to think that some investors will be wary if Jobs isn't touching every single thing that happens at Apple, and moreover, with his health seemingly in decline, what's stopping him from simply calling it a day at Apple and retiring on his own terms? That's just speculation for now, but with a reported iPad 2, iPhone 5 and who knows what else coming up in 2011, it'll be a strange and lonely year with Jobs at the keynote speeches. Regardless of what happens from a company standpoint, we wish Steve the best in recovery.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs today sent the following email to all Apple employees:


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.

Tags:  Apple, Steve Jobs, CEO