Apple's Jobs Takes New Medical Leave

Iconic chief executive says he will retain strategic duties. Tim Cook, chief operating officer, to run day-to-day activities.

January 18, 2011

D.H. Kass

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Steve Jobs, Apple Computer Inc.’s singular chief executive, informed employees by email Monday that his health necessitates taking another medical leave of absence, this one a year and a half after he returned following a liver transplant and seven years after surgery for pancreatic cancer.

Jobs told employees that he had requested of Apple’s board of directors a “medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health.”

Tim Cook, Apple’s chief operating officer, will handle the company’s day-to-day operations in Jobs’ absence.

“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,” Jobs said. “I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can.”

Following news of Jobs’ continued health problems, Apple’s shares opened on Tuesday more than 5 percent off of Friday’s close but rallied slightly in intraday trading. The company is slated to announce results for its first fiscal quarter 2011 after the market closes today.

In 2004, Jobs underwent surgery for a rare form of pancreatic cancer, followed by an extended leave beginning in January, 2009 for a liver transplant. He returned some six months later.

In his absence, Apple kept Jobs’ health issues private, resulting in a raft of pointed criticism from shareholders and observers that the company should have been more informative about his condition.

Cook, who took the reins during Job’s prior absences, joined Apple in 1998 as senior vice president of worldwide operations. Previously, he served as vice president of corporate materials at the former Compaq Computer Corp. and at IBM Corp. as director of PC manufacturing and distribution. He also served as chief operating officer for solution provider Intelligent Electronics.

According to documents Apple filed on January 7, 2011 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Cook earned some $59 million in 2010, including $800,000 in salary, $900,000 in incentives, a $5 million bonus awarded to him for stepping in during Jobs’ absence, and $52.3 million in stock options.

TAGS: Apple,medical,jobs,Cook,chief executive

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