Steve Jobs Takes Leave Of Absence, Apple Stock Drops
January 14, 2009 at 3:35 PM (PT)
APPLE CEO STEVE JOBS, whose health has been the subject of much speculation, told the company's staff in an e-mail TODAY that he is taking a leave of absence from the company. Predictably, the new has hit APPLE's stock hard in after-hours trading.
JOBS, a survivor of pancreatic cancer, appeared gaunt in his last public appearances, and did not deliver APPLE's final MACWORLD keynote presentation last week, prompting speculation about the state of his health. "I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the APPLE community," he wrote. "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. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.
"In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at APPLE to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of JUNE.
"I have asked TIM COOK to be responsible for APPLE's day-to-day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan.
"I look forward to seeing all of you this summer."
APPLE stock, which closed at the end of the trading day at $85.33 a share, fell to around $80 in after-hours trading. Check on its current price here.