Apple’s Jobs to take Medical Leave of Absence

{complink 379|Apple Inc.} boss Steve Jobs said he will take a health-related leave of absence from the company although plans are for him to keep the title of CEO at the consumer electronics and PC manufacturer.

This would be the second time in just two years that Jobs, who is widely credited with engineering a remarkable turnaround in the company's fortunes, will be taking time off to concentrate on health issues. The Apple CEO is a survivor of pancreatic cancer and had in 2009 received a liver transplant. During his last absence, the company was widely criticized for keeping news about Jobs' health secret from employees and investors.

Timothy Cook, chief operating officer at Apple, will fill in for Jobs during his absence, according to the company. The prompt release of information concerning Apple and the succession planning indicate the company had learned from the controversy that surrounded Jobs' first leave of absence.

In an email to Apple employees also released to the general public, Jobs said “the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health.” Jobs said he would retain the title of CEO and “be involved in major strategic decisions for the company.”

Here's the full text of Jobs' email to 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 grew rapidly after Jobs, a co-founder sacked in 1985, returned to the company in 1997 and over the years expanded sales into new product segments, including the consumer electronics sector where it dominates the digital music player, smartphone and tablet computing device markets.

In 2010, Apple's market capitalization soared, eclipsing that of rival {complink 3426|Microsoft Corp.}, to make the Cupertino, Calif.-based company the world's most valued technology company. As of market close on Friday, January 14, Apple's market value was approximately $321 billion compared with $242 billion for Microsoft.

The company is expected to report December-quarter results on Tuesday, January 18. Its annual fiscal sales more than doubled in three years to $65 billion for the 12 months ended September 25, 2010 from $25 billion in fiscal 2007.

The news of Jobs' leave of absence is likely to hit Apple's share price when market trading resumes on Tuesday although investors will probably take the longer-term view that his continued involvement behind the scene and Cook's previous stint as acting CEO should provide stability and continuity of product marketing and development.

12 comments on “Apple’s Jobs to take Medical Leave of Absence

  1. Ashu001
    January 17, 2011


    I have been tracking Apple's stock price rather closely to see if there is any impact from Steve Jobs temporary leave of Abscence.So far nothing.WHich means that your last statement is how the market is seeing the entire situation,

    The news of Jobs' leave of absence is likely to hit Apple's share price when market trading resumes on Tuesday although investors will probably take the longer-term view that his continued involvement behind the scene and Cook's previous stint as acting CEO should provide stability and continuity of product marketing and development.”

    I was looking at who the major shareholders are in Apple today.And its like a whos who of the Hedge fund world.Not exactly comforting news in a momentum chasers world.I have a bad feeling when the next correction comes,Apple will tumble very-very badly.lets also not forget the fact that Apple(unlike Microsoft or IBM) pays no Dividends to speak of.Not exactly comforting to Trigger Happy shareholders.



  2. Parser
    January 17, 2011

    I see Steve Jobs as a motoric force of Apple. His visions are totally out of the box and I don’t see anyone else having such abilities within the Apple company. I will be looking at Apple stock for the next week or so. Apple under Jobs went through major architecture changes from core processor (Motorola vs. Intel) to operating system change from original Apple to Unix based system. He continued evolving one of the most expansive cell phone during a major economical recession and the lines to for the first day buyers were long. No matter how one can disagree with his iron fist secrecy about launching products he introduced each product as a technological piece of art. I am glad he is going to participate in major company decisions. 

  3. eemom
    January 17, 2011

    I will choose to take a more positive view.  Jobs most likely planned for this leave of absence and a plan is in place for company operation without him.  Perhaps we'll see a major announcement from Apple that will solidigy its technology leadership position and aleviate some of the uncertaintly surrounding Jobs' leave of absence.  Hopefully they have learned from their previous mistake.



  4. Ms. Daisy
    January 17, 2011

    The vote of confidence displayed by the board of directors of Apple in Jobs to grant him a leave of absence a second time around speaks to the both the value placed in Jobs ability as a CEO and also in the strength of the organization as a system. A well run organization is one that its sub-systems are interrelated and interpendent to make a functional whole. Obviously Jobs dynamic vision has been shared with Apples executives and strategically planned to give years of directions to the organization with or without Jobs.

    I expect Apple executives to continue with the strategic plans in Jobs absence. I wish him good luck with his health and a return to work soon.

    Other companies better watch out. Free time in Jobs hands spells creative i-n-n-o-v-a-t-i-o-n!

  5. AnalyzeThis
    January 17, 2011

    Obviously, this is sad news and I wish Steve well. I think many of us take our health for granted; you can have all the money and success in the world, but it doesn't do you much good if you are sick.

    Best wishes to him.

    Now that being said, there's so much debate and speculation out there about what this means (or doesn't mean) and how this will affect Apple's future.

    I am of the opinion that in a company as large as Apple that one person — even jobs — is not irreplaceable. Steve is obviously talented and has more name recognition than basically any CEO out there, but he'd be pretty useless if saddled with a collection of poor vice presidents.

    Obviously, there are some other very strong and capable leaders at Apple, including Cook.

    This reminds me slightly of all the concern people had regarding Bill Gates leaving Microsoft. Long-term, his departure probably didn't affect things too much.

    Things will work out, with or without Steve.

  6. mfbertozzi
    January 17, 2011

    First of all, we wish Mr. Steve all the best.
    Then, I would like to underline DenniQ's post: we trust Apple Inc. or we don't trust Apple Inc. Their position achieved in the market (since a long ago) comes, of course from Mr. Steve talent, but especially from organization, processes, engineers, developers, stock keepers and everybody helped or is helping the company (from 1 Infinite Loop to who knows) in its tasks, deadlines and targets.

    Stocks up and down means someone wants to keep alive current financial crisis and he is trying to promote emotional events because of individual speculation interest.

  7. Mydesign
    January 17, 2011

       Bolaji, one thing we have to appreciated, with the able guidance and leadership of Job Apple technologies had emerged as a market leader in many fields.  But unfortunately he is going for second round of medical leave within a couple of two years. Since he already defined the vision and mission of his companies with a good road map, he may also want to know how his company is performing on his absence. This may also help him to look from the customer point of view also and if needed, he can do some correction steps also.  I think job may use his medical leaves for such purposes too rather treatment.

  8. SP
    January 18, 2011

    Steve Jobs taking medical leave has become headlines everywhere. No doubt it has to be as he has brought the company to big heights. I didnt know he had pancreatic cancer. May be its just a true medical leave. Hope he recovers soon and come back all fit and healthy.I agree this abscence news would defintely make the market little nervous and stock value will get affected.

  9. bolaji ojo
    January 18, 2011

    DennisQ, Well said. Apple continued to perform excellently under COO Tim Cook the last time Jobs was getting a liver transplant. The company has a deep pool of talents that Jobs has been instrumental in motivating to achieve their current market-beating performance. I guess that's what is not open to the public. As you noted, behind Jobs are some superb engineers, mid-level managers, senior executives, folks in marketing, sales, administration, supply chain, etc. One tree cannot make a forest and I have to agree that Apple is greater than the sum of only one individual.

  10. mfbertozzi
    January 19, 2011

    They have announced financial results achieved in 1Q-2011: record in profit.
    It confirms thesys on tree and forest. Stocks were falling down and now again up.

  11. elctrnx_lyf
    January 20, 2011

    We have already seen that Apple has done good job even when jobs was on medical leave previously. With a solid establishment in the ipod, iphone and ipad products apple has done a great job and is already at the pinnacle of success. But what happens if jobs is not coming back for some time. We have seen android already coming in competetion for the iphone market and in tablets category there are many companies coming out with the tablets. But there should be well laid leadership plan for the apple CEO.

  12. seel225
    January 31, 2011

    The medical leave will come as a surprise to Apple investors and definitely take some shine off the Apple stock.I think Job's leave is not going to affect implementing launches for the ipad2, which is expected this spring and the ihone5, expected in June on Apple's developers conference.

    I hope Tim Cook will do as good as Steve, but Steve is the best. I want Steve to be back soon.

    Get well soon Steve!!!!!

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