What other Fortune 500 company's stock is so dependent on one man that if he takes a little time off for medical reason, the market cap of the company instantly falls? This is Steve Jobs.
Jobs sent out this e-mail to the company early this morning:
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.
Jobs's health has seen highs and lows over the last several years, and any time it seems to be a concern, it affects the entire company. Stock prices of Apple are already dipping slightly in early morning trading.
The man Jobs has assigned to oversee day-to-day operations, Tim Cook, is the company's chief operations officer and has subbed for illness-plagued Jobs before.
Last time Jobs took an official leave of absence was in 2009, when he ended up being out of commission for six months. That was as the result of a liver transplant surgery. It's not clear what has prompted this most recent sick leave.
The announcement comes just one day before Apple's quarterly earnings call, tomorrow at 5:00 PM Eastern Time. All attention will be focused on that as Jobs's sudden request to take more time off will no doubt be the #1 question of everyone's mind. [[Apple]]