He will stay on as CEO but has asked Tim Cook to take over the day-to-day operations of Apple.
Below is the email Jobs sent to all staff at Apple.
At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. 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.
It is not surprising that Jobs made his announcement today while the US stock market (NASDAQ:AAPL) is closed for Martin Luther King Day, and a day before their earnings call on January 18th. Jobs probably does not want the earnings call to be focused on his health, but on the great financials of the company he and Steve Wozniak founded 35 years ago in Cupertino; still where the company’s Headquarters is located.
I wish Jobs all the best and hope his health will recover in a very short time. In the mean time I have total confidence on Apple’s executive team to drive the company forward for years to come in the directions that Jobs had lay out, whether they have Jobs in the helm or not.