Steve Jobs Taking Medical Leave of Absence

Apple just announced that CEO Steve Jobs will be taking a “medical leave of absence.

In a statement to employees this morning, Jobs wrote, “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.”

The statement continued, “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.”

Jobs is still recovering from a liver transplant that he underwent less than two years ago. Tim Cook is the company’s chief operating officer and a longtime deputy of Jobs’. Apple stock has already gone down overseas as a result of the news.

Hopefully this will not interfere with any of Apple’s plans for 2011—the iPhone was just launched on the Verizon network and the iPad’s next version is rumored to be released in the first quarter of the year.

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