In an apparent 180 degrees from his previous announcement, when Steve Jobs treated his hormone imbalance like a skinned knee (certainly not like the life-altering problem responsible for his radical weight loss last year), the Apple CEO has now decided to take a breather from his role as rock star/head honcho at the iconic company.
You read that right. Steve Jobs is indeed stepping down. Before you worry (or celebrate), be advised that it's a temporary leave of absence for six months. Seems the health problem isn't as under control as he thought. (Either that, or years of iron-clad confidential product launches has made him equally adept at keeping corporate plans under wraps. Really, who knows how long this has truly been in the works?)
Here's the scoop that was issued on the evening of Wednesday, January 14, straight from Apple:
Apple CEO Steve Jobs today sent the following email to all Apple employees:
I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. 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.
Look for stock prices to take a hit. That, however, may just be temporary. Already, journo blokes and bloggers are speculating that Apple's actual financial results will give these numbers a bump eventually. In the mean time, this might be a good opportunity for the company to ascend, out of the shadow of the great Jobs, and prove that the brand's innovation doesn't rely solely on just one person.
Even so, Steve-o, we will miss you ? both the fans and the haters alike. See you in June, man. (Hopefully, your troops will have delivered some exciting news on the product front by then.)