Cupertino, Calif. - Citing the need to focus on his health, Apple CEO Steve Jobs late today announced he was taking a leave of absence from the company until the end of June.
In the interim COO Tim Cook will handle Apple's day-to-day operation.
Speculation regarding Jobs' health status has swirled for months peaking in early January when he announced he would not make his usual keynote address at Macworld. Jobs did not specify what his medical condition was, but in an open letter to Apple employes he did admit that his condition was more "complex" then originally thought.
The letter stated:
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.