Steve Jobs is to take another medical leave of absence from Apple the company has confirmed.
The Cupertino-based CEO sent an email on Monday to employees stating that the board of directors had granted him leave and that Tim Cook would be taking over day-to-day operations at One Infinite Loop.
The email in full reads:
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.
The announcement, on a day when the US markets are closed because of Martin Luther King day, it likely to be met with concern from Apple stockholders wondering what will happen when Tim Cook takes over.
Jobs' has a turbulent history with his health and there will of course be concerns following this latest announcement.
In 2004, Jobs announced to Apple staff that he had been diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in his pancreas and underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy in July of that year, and in April 2009 Jobs underwent a liver transplant before returning to work 5 months later.
Apple shares usually take a tumble when the bossman isn't in the office, as investors see Jobs himself as Mr Apple.
With a quartlerly earning report this week, all eyes are likely to be on "what's next" rather than how well the company performed over the Christmas period.
Get well soon Steve.