NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- A busy week for the tech sector kicked off with the news that Apple (AAPL - Get Report) CEO Steve Jobs is taking a medical leave of absence from the consumer technology giant.
A statement released by Jobs on Monday confirmed that COO Tim Cook would again step in to handle the day-to-day running of the iPhone maker. "I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company," said Jobs.
|Apple COO Tim Cook|
The news came a day before Apple posted stellar fiscal first-quarter results, boosted by strong sales of its Mac, iPhone and iPad products.Shares of Apple closed down $5.96, or 1.79%, at $326.72 on Friday amid a broader selloff in tech stocks. IBM & Google Results Bellwethers IBM (IBM - Get Report) and Google (GOOG) also reported their respective fourth-quarter results. IBM was up first, confortably beating analysts' estimates on Tuesday. The company's gross profit margin also came in at 49%, up 0.8 points year-over-year, and IBM said that its business analytics revenue was up 19% year-over-year. Search giant Google posted its results after market close on Thursday, also beating consensus estimates, although the company's solid gains in search was overshadowed by news that co-founder Larry Page will replace Eric Schmidt as CEO. The executive change, which takes place on April 4, has been under discussion for a while, said Schmidt. "As Google has grown, managing the business has become more complicated," he explained in a Google blog post Thursday. "So Larry, Sergey and I have been talking for a long time about how best to simplify our management structure and speed up decision making -- and over the holidays we decided now was the right moment to make some changes to the way we are structured." Schmidt, who is one of Silicon Valley's best-known corporate leaders, will eventually assume the role of Executive Chairman, serving as an advisor to Page and co-founder Brin. Google shares closed down $14.94, or 2.38%, at $611.83 on Friday. IBM's stock was down 30 cents, or 0.19%, at $155.50 on Friday.