Apple CEO Steve Jobs takes medical leave until June

by admin January 15, 2009 at 8:54 am

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple CEO Steve Jobs is taking a medical leave of absence until the end of June because his health problems are “more complex than originally thought,” he said in an e-mail to company employees Wednesday.

His medical leave revives lingering doubts about the well-being of Jobs and that of Apple (AAPL), the American corporate institution he co-founded more than three decades ago. The iconic CEO, who helped redefine personal computing in the 1980s and digital entertainment during the past decade, is the driving creative force behind the iPhone, iPod and Macintosh computer.

But in recent months the 53-year-old Jobs, a pancreatic cancer survivor, has lost considerable weight. That has raised concerns not only about whether the cancer has returned, but about his ability to forcefully lead during an economic downturn — especially a company like Apple, which specializes in premium-price consumer products.

“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,” Jobs said in the e-mail. “As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out,” he said. “Our board of directors fully supports this plan.”

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