The founder and head of Apple sent an unexpected email to Apple staff yesterday:
Apple CEO Steve Jobs in Oct. 2010.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs in Oct. 2010. Paul Sakuma/AP
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.
Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook will serve as temporary CEO and Jobs says he'll still be involved with major decisions. NPR's Jim Zarroli tells Morning Edition that Apple hasn't said what medical treatment Jobs needs or how long he'll be away, but he's been away twice before to deal with pancreatic cancer and a liver transplant.
MOSHE BRAKHA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
A 1998 photo of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, holding an iMac Computer.
A 1998 photo of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, holding an iMac Computer. MOSHE BRAKHA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
The news came over a US holiday when American markets were closed, and perhaps that's wise; Jim notes the last time Jobs announced a medical leave Apple share prices plunged before they recovered. Investors have had time to digest the news, although Apple share prices fell earlier in overseas trading. Reuters reports Jobs' health may overshadow Apple quarterly earnings news today; during the past 12 months, the company saw an increase of 62% in share prices.
CNN examines whether the Jobs announcement will affect Apple products, noting the CEO is a 'messianic figurehead' who's inextricably linked to company products.