Steve Jobs Takes Leave from Apple

Just when there was a glimmer of positivity surrounding the Steve Jobs Health Saga (Episode IV: A New Hope), the Apple CEO today sent out a letter to employees that is a definite downer (Episode V: The Health Problems Strike Back).

Just prior to Macworld, Steve Jobs sent out a public letter informing that he was suffering from a hormone imbalance that was robbing his body of proteins. This would help explain his startling weight loss in 2008. At the time, he said that the remedy to this health issue was “relatively simple and straight forward,” and that he will continue his duties at Apple.

But today, that all changed. Steve Jobs on Wednesday sent out the following letter to all Apple employees:

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

Following Jobs’ optimistic letter on January 5, today’s message suddenly opens up all the unanswered questions floating about blogs throughout the second half of last year. Jobs already has a reputation for keeping his private matters just that, so his quick 180-degree turn is likely a sign that things are serious. Expectedly, Apple stocks (AAPL) are taking a beating in after-hours trading. Shares closed at $85.33 today, but at time of writing are down $5.52 or 6.47 percent.

This isn’t the first time Steve Job has had to take a medical absence for health-related issues, for which afterwards he returned to back to Apple healthy. We wish him the best in a speedy and permanent recovery.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • Wow seriously? Move on already.
  • NuclearShadow
    While I am no fan of Apple I do hope that Jobs makes a full recovery. He is a bright man.
  • MJRSnyder
    Wow hope he gets better but maybe they could have Wozniak come back for a bit wouldn't that be funny
  • neiroatopelcc
    I don't think jobs is that important for day-to-day activities. Apple knows what it's doing. I hate them for that. But they'll keep doing fine.
  • bunz_of_steel
    WHO really gives a a aaaaaa flyin.... ya know!? geesh guyz c'mon is this a I.T. review site or days of our lives news central? Most people I know really don't care about this billionaire's health issues,... it's trivial!! He takes time off until June and uhm it's paid along with ALL his medical bills. This is pathetic :(

  • squatchman
    Hm.... AAPL is nine points down on the week.

  • seboj
    Like it or not, Jobs' is intrinsically linked to the image that is Apple. If he were to die tomorrow, the stock would nosedive. Would they still be able to create the products that they do without him? Would their products still be seen as elite (read: retarded) if he's no longer there? Those are the kind of things shareholders worry about, and being that Apple is a tech company, it's all relevant here.

    If you ask me, the cancer is finally getting to him, and this is a sly transition of power. It might lessen the shockwave if Jobs gives up power to the man who has already been running the company for 6 months.
  • neiroatopelcc
    I don't believe the products would change much, nor the marketing strategy.
    Most non-techie people only know forrest gump for being associated with apple - and never heard of steve jobs in he first place.
    So the general consumer will keep spending their money at apple regardles of who's in charge.