Steve Jobs Calls In Sick

Apple CEO and pancreatic cancer survivor Steve Jobs announced he’s taking a medical leave of absence. He’ll retain his title and remain involved in major decisions, but the COO will take over day-to-day operations.

The Washington Post quotes a letter Jobs wrote to employees:


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 took a similar leaves in 2004, when he battled cancer, and 2009, when he underwent a liver transplant.

The Steve Jobs persona is a major part of what drives the Apple brand. If you’re an Apple devotee, what does it mean to you that he’s not hands-on?

Apple’s Steve Jobs takes medical leave, remains CEO [The Washington Post]


Edit Your Comment

  1. OnePumpChump says:

    Take Jobs, let Woz live forever.

  2. Mark says:

    >>what does it mean to you that he’s not hands-on?

    Batteries will stop exploding?

    The Flash bashing will stop?

    The next I-phone might work right?

    • SerenityDan says:

      Silly, you are just using the products wrong, Apple products are perfect and can’t POSSIBLY be faulty.

      • Rachacha says:

        Apple products are perfect until the next itteration of the same Apple product comes out and then the once perfect version of the product becomes crap and the NEW product is now perfect.

        • apple420 says:

          The older models are still great. Heck I just picked up last year’s model iPhone. People just want the newer models because sometimes they are worth the upgrade.

          • Rachacha says:

            I agree. I am still using the iPhone 3G, and while I am noticing some applications that do not work on the 3G or without upgrading to iOS 4, I am fine with it. I am trying to hold out until June when the next iPhone is roumered to be announced.

            My earlier statement represents the common belief the Apple users have to have the latest and the greatest…although I would not consider myself a typical Apple Fan boy as all of my computers are Windows machines.

    • minjche says:

      How is the view from that bandwagon? Oh right, you just blindly jumped on so you can’t see.

  3. Trae says:

    Tim Cook is the guy who everyone expects will replace Jobs – so I expect largely business as usual.

  4. sufreak says:

    I’m not an Apple Fanboy, but I do like their products. I hope Steve recovers. Despite his dictator style tactics, he produces great products with minimal flaws. (note: minimal, not ‘no flaws’)

    I’m sure Jobs will be back after being transplanted into a new donated body shortly enough.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      And people would stop making fun of Apple and Jobs if they admitted as such. But the “you’re holding it wrong” style comments from Jobs makes it pretty much a requirement to make fun of them and Apple Fanboys/girls when they demand that their products are perfect.

  5. ARP says:

    Given this is his third leave in a few years and he’s arguably the “soul” of Apple, don’t shareholders require/deserve more information, if only for investment purposes?

    • Skellbasher says:

      No. Apple shareholders get the same info that any other CEO in America provides if they take a leave of absence.

      Jobs may be more important to Apple than most CEOs are to their companies, but that doesn’t mean shareholders deserve more.

      Apple did just fine with Tim Cook running the show the last time. They’ll be fine this time.

    • Rachacha says:

      I think as far as investors are concerned, tey only need to know the succession plan, which includes Tim Cook. Apple, likely has several years of development projects in the pipeline. Some actually being developed, some waiting in the wings until the technology is available to make the product, so a short term leave of absence will have minimal impact on the operation of the company. The true test will be once Steve retires, and what will the company do in the long term. Was Steve able to impart his design sense into his designers and management team? If so, the company should continue to flourish long after his departure, however if he was not able to teach the team what is in his head, then that will likely mark the end of the company as we know it today.

      Steve’s health is irrelevant to investors, the succession plan and what training has gone on is all they need to know.

  6. chrimsonfyre says:

    I love apple and will continue to support them with or without Jobs. If he is sick, I think he should take some time to worry about his health, I full confidence that Cook can do a great job if the public will give him a chance.

  7. Abradax says:

    If the Chief Operations Officer didn’t handle day to day operations, what did he do?

  8. Clearly says:

    Hw s ths rlvnt t ‘cnsmr sss’ ?

    • Skellbasher says:

      It’s not. The Consumerist isn’t about consumer issues anymore. It’s about generating enough traffic for Consumers Union to justify keeping it running.

      • JulesNoctambule says:

        Really? The announcement already affected the stock price on the European markets yesterday. The same can potentially happen in the US, especially since Apple is personality-driven in some aspects, and that alone would certainly have a consumer-related effect.

        • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

          And, as coincidence would have it, the day after Dear Leader takes a medical leave — on a holiday, let’s add — Apple’s earnings call shows the company’s doing better than ever. Methinks you should hold that APPL stock if you’re so lucky enough to have such.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      Apple makes products that consumers buy. Apple may be affected by Jobs not being there, in one way or another, which would in turn affect the products and product support from Apple. Consumers are affected by the changes to the product and product support.

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      What mycatcracksmeup said.

      You should have posted this on the college tuition one, closer to you being right. it just takes a little (very little) effort to put this type of comment in the right place.

      Try harder!

  9. Skellbasher says:

    Calls in sick?

    Maybe he deserves a little more credit. Sometimes the body needs more rest than normal after things like pancreatic cancer and liver transplants.

    Apple was fine when Tim Cook ran the show last time, and they’ll be fine again this time.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery Mr. Jobs, even if you never work another day at Apple. The man’s health is more important than consumer electronics that everyone fights about.

  10. Beeker26 says:

    Maybe Satan has decided it’s finally time to call back his foul blackened soul?

    • Rhizzo says:

      Job’s wouldn’t stand for such nonsense.. He’d manage to convince Satan that he’s holding his pitchfork wrong and he’d have to purchase an Apple branded carrying case, wait for the next model revision, or purchase an Android branded pitchfork if he insists on being such a simpleton.

      • Beeker26 says:

        Well, he’s been recalled twice before, so it’s highly possible the conversation at the time went something like that.

  11. Shadowfire says:

    Since a few of you seem to be confused, a proper response in this case would be “best wishes to Mr. Jobs and his family.”

    For shame. Really.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Exactly. Regardless of your feelings for the company, it’s not as if he’s some kind of awful, horrible person who kicks puppies and dips kittens into barbecue sauce before throwing them to a pack of hungry wolves or anything. It’s shameful to wish harm on him.

  12. Blueskylaw says:

    Apple stock went up 70% last time that Tim Cook took over for Jobs. I think that Apple needs to distance itself from Jobs as the face of the company and once that happens the stock wont be taking the hit that its taking right now, though the stock is up over ten dollars from the low.

  13. Rhizzo says:

    I heard that he’s using this as a cover up. In reality, he has a team of doctors working around the clock to transplant his head from his body into one of those Futurama head-in-a-jars.

    Jobs seems like the kind of guy that would actually do something like that.. He’s a modern day Walt Disney, minus the Nazi propaganda.

  14. fr34k says:

    hopefully someone will replace them that has proper customer care

  15. truthandjustice says:

    Will we EVER learn CIVILITY? The volume of snarky-ness on Jobs’ critical health plight ASTOUNDS me. Does the majority of internet posters, kick people when they are down and/or dance on graves?

    One would think with the Arizona tragedy on everyone’s current radar, that we would ALL be rethinking about words that heal and help versus those that wound.

    Is depravity the order of the day? If so . . . we are doomed. As Pogo said: “We have met the enemy and it is us!”

  16. misslisa says:

    I don’t wish Jobs or anyone ill, but most folks don’t have the luxury of taking medical leave 3 times in 7 or 8 years. The average person would lose their livelihood and end up broke over it. So I think that’s where some of the snark might be coming from

    • Rachacha says:

      I think it depends on your employer and what skills you bring to the table. While no single person is impossible to replace in a company, there are some people that are DIFFICULT to replace. I have known a few people who had severe medical issues and took repeated medical leaves of absence. Their employer did what they could to support the employee and kept their position open and simply delegated some of the responsibilities of that person to other staff and/or brought in additional staff to assist. Sadly, both people lost their medical battles, and the employer had to hire new staff to permanently replace the employee. While the person was not impossible to replace, it took the skills of 3-4 people to match what one person had.

      I know when I left a job, my employer had to distribute all of the jobs that I was doing on to 5 different people, not because I was doing the work of 5 people, but because I had 5 very unique skill sets that they were not able to find in one person.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      Yeah, my version of sick leave is a day on the couch, hoping to hell that whatever it is can be defeated by a lot of hot tea and some over-the-counter meds.

    • PhantomPumpkin says:

      It’s called FMLA. Look it up.

  17. JohnJ says:

    Jobs’ Reality Distortion Field is Apple’s most powerful marketing tool. When he retires (or worse), it’s going to be a huge blow to the company.

  18. Beeker26 says:

    I’m sure he’s been secretly training one of his Sith Lords, errr, I mean executives, to carry on when he’s gone.