Jobs Takes Medical Leave From Apple

Jobs sent an e-mail statement to Apple employees, which the company made public. "At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health," Jobs' e-mail read. "I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company.

"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."

This is the third medical leave of absence Jobs has taken in the last decade. In 2004, Jobs missed time after having a pancreatic tumor removed. But a few years later Jobs appeared to be ill again after looking extremely thin and gaunt at public events. Apple consistently denied that Jobs was experiencing any healthy issues, despite visible evidence to the contrary.

In January 2009, Jobs issued a statement that attributed his weight loss to a "hormone imbalance" and said that he had begun treatment to correct the issue and would remain as Apple's CEO during the recovery phase. However, less than two weeks later, Jobs took a six-month medical leave of absence, stating: "I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought." A few months later, Jobs received a successful liver transplant and received an "excellent" prognosis from his doctors; Jobs returned to active duty at Apple in June.

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But now, two years after taking that leave of absence, health issues have forced Jobs to temporarily exit the company again. Jobs' absences haven't affected Apple's performance, though: The company has achieved record revenue growth and market capitalization, thanks to successful products such as the iPhone and iPad.