Apple CEO Steve Jobs has today sent the following email to all Apple employees:
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.
Apple’s shares fell 10% on European exchanges following the announcement, which just goes to show how important the CEO is to the company.
Forbes reports that back in 2008 Apple shares fell more than 50%, along with the overall market, after rumours that Jobs’ pancreatic cancer had returned began circulating.
Analysts expect to see Tim Cook take up the reigns as Apple CEO at some point this year with Jobs moving to the role of chairman.