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.
Jobs' liver transplant, and the associated medical leave commenced almost exactly 2 years ago, on January 14th and although the earlier message to staff offered a specific time for his return (summer of that year), this time there is no such good news, other than to say, "... hope to be back as soon as I can." Speculation is rife that the reason for the leave of absence may be related to either organ rejection or further progression of his 2004-diagnosed pancreatic cancer.
With the US market closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. public holiday, it was left to European markets to assess the news - Apple was trading down as much as 6% on the German exchange; clearly investors are worried that Apple without Steve Jobs is a much weaker proposition.
iTWire wishes Steve Jobs every success in this new battle and our best hopes for a speedy recovery.