January 15, 2009
Apple’s Chief Taking a Medical Leave
By BRAD STONE
Saying his health-related issues were “more complex” than he originally thought, Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, announced Wednesday that he would take a medical leave of absence from the company until the end of June.
In a letter to Apple employees released after markets closed, Mr. Jobs said that curiosity over his personal health “continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well.”
Mr. Jobs said he had asked Tim Cook, Apple’s longtime chief operating officer, to take on responsibility for Apple’s day-to-day operations. “As C.E.O., I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out,” Mr. Jobs added. “Our board of directors fully supports this plan.”
An Apple spokesman could not immediately be contacted for comment.
After-hours trading in Apple shares was halted as the news was released.
Mr. Jobs, 53, said last week that doctors had recently diagnosed a “hormone imbalance” that was depleting proteins in his body as the cause of his weight loss. The remedy, he said, “is relatively simple and straightforward, and I’ve already begun treatment.”
Last week, Mr. Jobs said he had a hormone deficiency that had caused him to dramatically lose weight.
Text of Jobs letter to Apple employees:
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.