Apple's Steve Jobs to Take Six-Month Medical Leave

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 14, 2009

steve-jobs.jpg

Just a week after revealing that he has a medical issue related to his 2004 pancreatic cancer surgery that had taken a toll on his weight, Apple CEO Steve Jobs today said he’s taking a medical leave until the end of June. In an email to Apple employees today, Jobs said in the past week he had been informed that his health-related issues are “more complex than I originally thought” and that curiosity over his health was becoming too much of a distraction for his family and for Apple.

Here’s the full email:

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


The news is already spooking investors. Apple’s stock futures fell, and after-hours trading in Apple was halted.

Worries about Jobs’ health had been swirling especially since his appearance at an Apple iPhone launch last June, when I and others noticed he looked particularly gaunt. But concerns deepened a few weeks ago after Jobs said he would not make his customary keynote address at the annual Macworld conference in San Francisco, which was held last week. He then announced that he was suffering from “hormonal imbalances” that were affecting his weight, but he indicated that relatively straightforward dietary changes over the coming months were expected to resolve the problem.

The concern over Jobs is not just because of his legendary status in tech but because he’s seen, rightly or wrongly, as the one indispensable leader at Apple. He’s seen as the chief driver of all of Apple’s major products, from Macintosh computers, iPod music players, and iPhones.

More to come…

(Photo courtesy AP)

Reader Comments

Tikiutaitikra

January 14, 2009 6:04 PM

I think it's not a such big deal, there's nothing to worry about. He will be fine.

emanuelbetz

January 14, 2009 6:42 PM

gaunt
cancer
dead

Brain Wega

January 14, 2009 7:48 PM

That's pretty harsh Emanuelbetz. Almost sounds like you are hoping for him to die.

Apple is FUBAR

January 14, 2009 8:14 PM

tikitukati- u r an idiot. Glad ur not my doctor

Steelydeacon

January 14, 2009 10:38 PM

Of course they want him to die. PCs hate Jobs more than anyone on earth. They think Ballmer is cool. LOL! What a bunch of mooks! I'm a PC! I'm a PC! I'm clueless! I don't get the Apple ads, but they make me feel inferior anyway. F***n' Apple Jobs snobs! They all should die of cancer and stop making us feel stupid! Now, leave me alone so I can fix my latest Vista crash!

hobie44

January 15, 2009 1:49 AM

Apple is not a one man show. Customers don't buy iPhones because of Steve Jobs, they buy them because it is a superior product. Mac users will be buying Macs long after Steve Jobs is gone.

Earnings are coming up next week and will exceed expectations in a time when everybody else is falling short.

The stock will sell off tommorrow and the smart money will use it as an opportunity to buy more on the dip.

Marian

January 15, 2009 3:29 AM

The apple community need his valuable contributions.We hope will come back with enthusiasm

Rico

January 15, 2009 3:35 AM

You're all a bunch of morons!! Emanuelbetz, I hope you are never diagnosed with such an affliction. Your comments are a disgrace. Steelydeacon, I DO hope you contract some form of terrible anal herpes, then, rather than spend the whole day on the internet looking a Thai lady boys, you could take your crappy PC and spend all day on Wikepedia typing in the symptons in the hope that you can find a cure, News flash there is no cure for being a complete muppett just deal with it!! At the end of the day, nobody can disagree, all of Apples products are revolutionary and JOBS has been the driving force behind everything the company has ever done. I'm sure with his money he has the best chance of recovery although the Pancreas is a mine-field and the odds on a complete recovery must be pretty low. Either way i'm sure there would be a number of genius' within Apple that can take the reins if the worst come to the worst.

Kish

January 15, 2009 6:00 AM

I don't own anything made by Apple. But without (in part to) Steve Jobs, we wouldn't be where we are today.

Good Luck Steve & Thanks.

P.S.

I heard you were a bit of a pr*ck, this may be a good time to square that away.

Golum

January 15, 2009 4:13 PM

Emanuelbetz,

I doubted that you are a human being. Are you?

Sapolas

January 15, 2009 10:17 PM

That emanuel dude is crazy, and the rest of you people r fighting over nonsense, get a life you all, or better yet...a hobby

royness

January 16, 2009 12:31 AM

I am a user of both PC and Mac. I give
much respect to both Gates and Jobs.
Any one that has the honor to work in either film or gaming don't hate Mac or PC. Only retards act as if they were 5 years of age to wish cancer on another human being. To Mac hatters grow up, for every Mac user there is maybe 12 PC users out there. I use Mac to edit and run Protools and surf the net virus free on my G5 none intel chip. I use PC to run Xsi and Maya. I don't like Jobs ways that turned away few users from Mac, but this is America folks.

Lets simply wish the best for Steve Jobs. He is a rare and great mind.
Maybe a P***K but who isn't. He's
human after all no ones perfect.

PS get well soon Steve Jobs you are great :)

Golum

January 16, 2009 10:43 AM

Royness,

Thank you, you sail well.
I am PC user and I have never used Mac. I have seen their products and they are excellent. As you I like both Steve, Bill and all other funders of the companies who have worked hard and made life easy for us.

I wish the best for Steve, his family and all who care about him.

When Did Our Civilization Die?

January 18, 2009 1:54 PM

I have to tell you that the level of conversation you folks use is depressing. How much hatred is enough? Is there no generosity? What are your priorities?

I have seen that most folks who talk tough like I see on this site whimper like babies when they suffer the same fates they wish on others.

Try to use a little more of your gray matter when you are posting.

Tom Anderson

January 18, 2009 6:27 PM

Hey, maybe when Steve gets better he will turn himself into a Romulan or a Cardassian.

I'm just kidding, of course.

(Maybe someone will create a Steve Jobs portrait showing him with one of those outfits!)

But yeah seriously, hope you get better, Mr. Jobs.

max Adani

January 18, 2009 6:56 PM

Personally i think Jobs will pull through and keep the company alive. Apple is by far the most advanced computer company and without Jobs what would Apple be? And as for this Emanuelbetz person should really think about what he's gonna say before he says anything.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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