The CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, has announced to Apple employees (and to the world, via a press release) that he will be taking a medical leave of absence, to focus on his health. Tim Cook, Apple Chief Operating Officer (COO) will take over, just like he did in 2009. Steve Jobs expressed the desire to come back as soon as possible, but the press release hinted that Tim Cook would execute the 2011 plans, so this might take a while.
Although the Apple executive team has proven that it was able to execute during Steve Jobs’ absence, investors are very nervous at the idea of not having Apple CEO around, possibly for an extended time. It is fair to say that Apple’s plans for the next year are pretty much done by now, however, things never really go as planned, and the executive staff will have to navigate murky waters (on the other hand… that’s their job). We’ve pasted the email that Steve Jobs sent to Apple employees in the full post.
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.