Apple, today, announced that it’s CEO, Steve Jobs, was taking a medical leave of absence today. His leave will be through the end of June. In a email to employees, Mr. Jobs said he wanted to take himself out of the limelight to focus on his health and allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering ‘extraordinary’ products. Jobs, prior to last weeks MacWorld, put out an email that acknowledged his health issues and stated that he will remain Apple CEO. Apparently, his problems are a bit more serious than he thought.
Tim Cook, Apple’s COO, will take over Jobs’ duties until he can return.
One interesting thing about the way the announcement was handled…trading in Apple stock was halted RIGHT BEFORE the announcement. Trading resumed and Apple stock fell about eight percent.
Jobs’ health has the been the subject of much debate over the last few months. His last few appearances left the press speculating that his cancer had returned or that there were other serious issues. He always scoffed at the notion and, in fact, poked fun at it in a couple of his presentations. You could see, though, that really pissed him off. Rightly or wrongly, he is the face of Apple and, as such, is very highly regarded by Apple’s fans. Having a CEO so intertwined with a company is a bit on the dangerous side for that company. Apple, though, will do fine with or with out him. Even if he does not return to the role of CEO-and his health gets better-I don’t think he will disappear from the company.
At any rate, I think he did the right thing for himself, his family and the company. Now, maybe both the company AND the press can move on.