By Erik Gruenwedel | Posted: 14 Jan 2009
Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs Jan. 14 said he would take a leave of absence until June from the technology giant in order to treat his health issues.
The news sent shares of Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple falling 2.7% in after-hours trading until halted by the Securities Exchange Commission.
Apple COO Tom Cook will handle Jobs’ daily duties in the interim.
Jobs reportedly told Apple employees in a letter last week that he would remain in his executive position while being treated for a hormone deficiency. Then today, in an e-mail, Jobs said his health issues “were more complex than [he] originally thought.”
Jobs’ health has been a concern to investors since he disclosed in 2004 having undergone successful surgery for a rare form of pancreatic cancer. Subsequent sightings of a gaunt-looking Jobs at Apple presentations coupled with his non-appearance at last week’s Macworld fueled rumors that his health situation was more serious.
“When Jobs wasn't there [previously], Apple started to decline and [it] could find itself out of step with the rest of the market,” said independent analyst Rob Enderle. “He is unlike any other CEO.”