Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Steve Jobs takes medical leave of absence

steve_jobs.gi.top.jpg By David Goldman, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs will take another medical leave of absence beginning on Monday, two years after a six-month sabbatical during which he received a liver transplant.

Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, will take over the company's day-to-day operations in Jobs' stead, as he did during Jobs' last leave of absence.

"At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health," Jobs told Apple employees in an internal memo. "I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company. 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."

Jobs, who is 55 years old, gave no timetable for his return, but noted that Cook would execute the "plans the company has in place for 2011."

The Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) CEO's health has been a topic of intense speculation for several years. In 2004, he was diagnosed with a treatable form of pancreatic cancer, and he has appeared much thinner in subsequent appearances.

In August 2008, Bloomberg mistakenly published an obituary of the CEO.

Jobs did not deliver his annual keynote address at the Macworld conference in December 2008, and he announced he would take a six-month leave of absence from January 2009 through June of that year. He later revealed that he had received a liver transplant during his absence.

Jobs did not appear at a Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500) event last week at which the wireless company announced that it would begin carrying the iPhone in February.

His last Apple press conference was in mid-July, following the "antennagate" controversy that had many iPhone 4 owners complaining about lost reception when they held their phones a certain way. In the press conference, Jobs offered a free case to anyone who bought an iPhone 4 in the first three months it was on sale.

Two of his last public appearances took place on Oct. 7, when the CEO attended a ceremony commemorating a California bill that created an organ donor registry. He followed that with an appearance at an awards event hosted by the Wireless History Foundation.

An anticipated public appearance by Jobs was scheduled for this week, as News Corp. was expected to unveil The Daily, an iPad-only news magazine. That event was postponed on Friday, but it is not clear if that had anything to do with Jobs' health situation.

Apple performed very well during Jobs' last leave of absence, as its stock price rose nearly 60% during the six months that Cook oversaw the day-to-day operations of the company. Apple's board awarded Cook a $5 million cash bonus last year in recognition of his "outstanding performance" running Apple during Jobs' 2009 leave of absence.

The U.S. stock market is closed Monday, so investors weren't able to immediately react to Jobs' annoucement. The last times the company announced a medical leave for Jobs, shares fell as much as 6% on the news but ended the day down only 2%.

Apple will on Tuesday report its financial results for its most recent quarter, which ended Dec. 31. Analysts and investors are eagerly awaiting details on how many iPads Apple sold during the tablet's first holiday season.  To top of page

Search for Jobs

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,651.26 -99.65 -0.56%
Nasdaq 4,725.64 -37.58 -0.79%
S&P 500 2,051.12 -12.25 -0.59%
Treasuries 1.78 -0.02 -0.89%
Data as of 7:55pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 14.13 -0.23 -1.60%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 11.80 -0.21 -1.75%
Apple Inc 94.19 -0.99 -1.04%
Micron Technology In... 10.00 -0.36 -3.47%
General Electric Co 30.07 -0.56 -1.83%
Data as of 4:01pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

Tesla CEO Elon Musk had said previously that the automaker would become "cash-flow positive" this year. But in a letter to shareholders Wednesday, Musk signaled that won't be the case after all. More

The jobs market is near full employment with 14 million jobs added since early 2010. Gas prices are cheap. Home prices are rising. The stock market is near record highs. So why does everyone think the economy stinks? More

Oakland-based tech startup Clef hosts dinners for the local community in a bid to resist gentrification and unite all types of industries that make up the city. More

Visa says new software will allow consumers to check out with chip cards as fast as swiping a card with magnetic strip. More