Jobs’ health in question again as Apple chief takes leave of absence

Steve JobsFor the second time in two years, Apple chief executive officer Steve Jobs is taking some time off to take care of some health problems.

Apple issued a media advisory Monday morning announcing that Jobs will take a medical leave of absence, but does not offer further details. Jobs remains CEO of the company, but will hand over day-to-day management of the company to chief operating officer Tim Cook.

Here’s the full text of Jobs’ internal e-mail, as quoted in Apple’s media advisory:

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.

Steve

The announcement is very similar to one made in January 2009, when Jobs took six months off due to medical issues. Jobs is a survivor of pancreatic cancer, and during his time off in 2009, it was revealed that he had a liver transplant.

Apple’s stock has traditionally tumbled with news of its chief executive’s health problems, but with the U.S. markets closed Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, there is no trading. The stock may be buoyed by the good reviews enjoyed by COO Cook during his previous time at the reins, a performance that promoted heavy rumors of Cook’s candidacy for the top job at HP when that post became available with the sudden departure of Mark Hurd. HP, of course, eventually chose to go with Leo Apotheker for the CEO position.

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Robert Dutt

Robert Dutt is the founder and head blogger at ChannelBuzz.ca. He has been covering the Canadian solution provider channel community for a variety of publications and Web sites since 1997. 

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