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Steve Jobs takes medical leave from Apple

David Ludlow
18 Jan 2011
Steve Jobs takes medical leave from Apple
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Health reasons mean that Tim Cook will be stepping in

Steve Jobs, the Apple CEO, has taken a leave of absence from the company due to health reasons, handing the reins over to Tim Cook, the chief operating officer. It's the third time that Cook has had to step in, as Jobs battles health problems, which have seen him require treatment for cancer and a liver transplant in recent years.

In an email to Apple employs, Jobs told staff that he was remaining as chief executive and be involved in all major strategic decisions. However, he didn't explain what the problem was or when he would be returning to work full time. According to reports, Jobs' health has deteriorated in recent weeks and he's been coming into the office less than usual.

The real question that people have is, can Tim Cook continue Apple's success? Steve Jobs has been praised for reviving the company's fortunes after he returned as CEO in 1996, when Apple bought his then company, NeXT. From the that period onwards Jobs has seen the launch of the highly successful iPod range of MP3 players and their spin-offs, the iPhone and iPod, while helping to launch Apple OS X.

Much of the praise directed at Apple has been for its stylish designs and clever user interfaces. Without Jobs at the helm, many people are questioning whether or not Tim Cook can take over successfully.

Cook joined Apple in March 1998 with the responsibility of making the company more efficient, streamlining its supply chain. The basic idea was that Apple could make great products, but it was having trouble manufacturing and delivering them successfully. While he's managed to do this, helping turn Apple into a company that's worth more than Microsoft, there's a question mark over whether he has the same vision as Jobs. As a result of the announcement, Apple's shares dipped by around 6.5 per cent.

With Apple in its healthiest financial position ever, Jobs' medical leave shouldn't cause the company too many problems, while the launch of the iPad 2 this year will ensure that it keeps at the forefront of technology.

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