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Steve Jobs taking medical leave from Apple

January 14, 2009 |  1:48 pm

Steve Jobs, a year apart

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said today that he would take a medical leave from the company after learning that his "health-related issues are more complex" than first believed. Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, will take over Jobs' duties until the end of June, when Jobs expects to return from his leave.

Jobs, 53, disclosed last week that he was dealing with a hormone imbalance that caused him to lose weight. A survivor of pancreatic cancer, he said he was working with his doctors to correct the problem and that he would remain CEO while he recuperated. He did not say whether his cancer had returned.

But Jobs said in an e-mail to Apple employees today that the "curiosity" over his health continued to distract him, his family and the company.

Apple shares have tumbled 8% to $78.50 in after-hours trading. The stock fell $2.38 to $85.33 in regular trading, before Jobs' announcement.

Here's the e-mail from Jobs that Apple released. We'll provide more analysis soon.

   Team,

   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.

   Steve

-- Chris Gaither

Photo credit: Associated Press

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