Steve Jobs Takes Medical Leave From Apple

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Robert Galbraith / Reuters

Steve Jobs in September 2008

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) just delivered some startling news, which is actually not startling if you have been following the stories about the health of CEO Steve Jobs. Because of health issues, Steve Jobs is taking a medical leave.

He noted, "....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."

Tim Cook will take over the day-to-day responsibilities of running the company. If you trust the release from Apple, Steve Jobs will remain involved in major strategic decisions while he is out. (See pictures of Steve Jobs on the job.)

Many have been very concerned over Jobs' health. The accusations have been rampant, and now it seems that all of the worst fears over this great CEO leader's health are at least now partially realized.

Because of Jobs' dominant presence, many will not really know anything about Cook. He is already the company's chief operating officer and is responsible worldwide sales and operations. This includes end-to-management of the company supply chain, sales activities, and service and support. He also heads the Macintosh division and plays a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships.

Before joining Apple, Cook was VP of Corporate Materials at Compaq, responsible for procuring and managing product inventory. He also was the COO of the Reseller Division at Intelligent Electronics. In addition, he spent more than a decade at IBM in leadership in manufacturing and distribution.

Unfortunately, this is only going to draw more fire on the company over its disclosure. Unfortunately, when you have a top CEO like this facing dire health conditions, the duties of the company default to its shareholders rather than to a star CEO such as Jobs. You can bet that critics will be out today or tomorrow already doubting whether or Jobs will return to work in June.

Jon C. Ogg

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