Apple CEO Steve Jobs is taking a medical leave of absence until the end of June, prompting shares to fall by around seven per cent.
Investor perception of the firm’s value has always been closely linked to Jobs himself, who many see as almost solely responsible for its turnaround upon his return to the helm around a decade ago.
COO Tim Cook will take over the day-to-day running of the firm.
In an open letter – initially to employees and then posted on the Apple website – Jobs said:
“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.
As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan."