Apple's Steve Jobs to take 'leave of absence,' cites health issues
Tim Cook will fill in while he's out; Jobs plans June return
Computerworld - Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs announced today that he is taking a "leave of absence" from his job because of health problems, an announcement almost certain to raise new questions about his overall health.
In an e-mail today sent to all Apple employees, Jobs said that "during the past week, I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought." The announcement was made after the close of financial markets in the U.S. (Analysts later said Apple's operations aren't likely to be affected if Jobs returns in June as planned.)
"I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community," Jobs continued in his message. "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 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."
Jobs, 53, said Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook will be in charge of day-to-day operations. "I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job," Jobs said. "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."
Today's announcement comes a month after Apple announced that Jobs would not deliver his signature keynote address the Macworld Expo & Conference. Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president for marketing, took his place at the event last week to unveil updated applications and a new 17-in MacBook Pro.
Jobs' health has been a matter of concern for some Wall Street analysts and a topic of discussion among Apple users and investors for months. The speculation began last June, when Jobs appeared gaunt at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference, and it was fueled by talk that he might again be seriously ill. In 2004, Jobs announced that he had had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in his pancreas.
Last July, Jobs told The New York Times that he was cancer-free, and he joked about the concerns during the MacBook rollout. Between the two, however, a false report that Jobs had suffered a massive heart attack shoved Apple's stock down by 11% in early October, demonstrating Wall Street's worries about Jobs and how his absence might impact the company.
According to the Wall Street Journal, trading of the company's shares was briefly halted in after-hours trading.
Last week, just before the Macworld Expo got under way, Jobs released a statement in which he said a hormonal imbalance had caused the weight loss that had fueled speculation he was seriously ill. He is currently undergoing treatment.
In a rare open letter to the Apple community, Jobs acknowledged his weight loss, but said his doctors believed, and tests had confirmed, that a "hormone imbalance has been 'robbing' me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy."
Apple has come under criticism from several quarters since Jobs' health again became a matter of concern to investors in June, with most talk centered around the possibility that he again had cancer. After Jobs' appearance, Apple officials pegged his weight loss to a "common bug" he had contracted.
Some analysts found that explanation hard to believe and made repeated calls on Apple to come clean about the health of its CEO. Those concerns prompted Jobs to speak with the New York Times.
Computerworld's Seth Weintraub weighs in on Jobs' announcement.
Jobs health woes
- Eric Lundquist: The next five steps for Apple's Tim Cook and Yahoo's Carol Bartz
- Seth Weintraub: Steve Jobs out until June, Tim Cook to take over Apple operations again
- Apple's Steve Jobs to take 'leave of absence,' cites health issues
- Even without Steve Jobs, Apple 'can clearly execute,' says analyst
- Jobs may have Type 1-like diabetes, says expert
- Jobs blames 'hormone imbalance' for weight loss
Read more about Management in Computerworld's Management Topic Center.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- The CIO's Guide to Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) This guide will help those making an EMM platform decision make the best choice for their organization.
- Live Webcast Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing...
- Testimonial: Cystic Fibrosis Trust Peter Hawkins, the Head of IT for Cystic Fibrosis Trust, discusses the role CommVault's Simpana software platform plays in improving the company's information...
- Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing... All Management White Papers | Webcasts