Tim Cook, Apple’s chief operating officer, will take control of the company in Jobs’ absence. Jobs’ health has been in the news since 2003, when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He underwent surgery, tried alternative medicines and returned to work soon after the episode.
Speculation about Jobs’ health returned in 2008, when Jobs appeared at press conferences having lost considerable weight. In January 2009, Jobs provided an explanation, saying a “hormone imbalance” had caused the weight loss.
Although Jobs’ January 2009 announcement said that he would return to Apple at the end of June of that year, his letter Monday did not specify how long he expects to be on leave.
Still, analysts predict the company will report financial results that are almost certain to shatter its past records, driven by more than $24 billion in sales during the last quarter.