By Darrell Etherington, GigaOM Apple CEO Steve Jobs will be taking a medical leave of absence from the company to focus on his health, though he will continue on as CEO and still be involved in “major strategic decisions.” In an email to employees released by Apple, Jobs explains that he requested and was granted the absence by the company’s board of directors. This is the email from Steve Jobs, which was released by Apple in its entirety as a press release:
Team, 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. SteveThis isn’t the first time Jobs has had to step away from the company due to health concerns. On Jan. 14 2009, Jobs stepped down as CEO temporarily, also citing health issues. The news also came in the form of a personal email from Jobs to Apple employees. This second leave comes almost exactly two years after the first. At the beginning of that earlier leave, Jobs anticipated a summer return to the company. This time, his plans seem much less definite. It was later revealed that Jobs left to have a liver transplant in April of 2009. Critics argued that by keeping the specifics of his health issues hidden, he was hiding material information from investors and damaging the company. Stock prices initially suffered following the news of Jobs’ first absence, and the same can probably be expected this time around. Stock values are already down in European trading. While this is most definitely bad news for the Apple CEO, we wish him a speedy recovery.