Apple, Jobs and health: A Reuters roundup
Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs told the world Wednesday that he discovered that his health issues are more complex than he had previously thought, so he’s taking a medical leave of absence. Jobs, who earlier this month said his recent weight loss was caused by a hormonal imbalance that was relatively easy to treat, plans to be off until the end of June. Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook will mind the shop in the interim. Once Apple shares resumed trading after-hours, investors knocked off about 10 percent of their value.
Here’s a quick roundup of what we found online about these latest developments (And of course, here’s the Reuters story before we get to the other ones):
Tim Cook should do fine as Apple’s interim day-to-day leader. He took control of the company last time Steve went on a leave of absence to treat his pancreatic cancer. Steve says he plans to “remain involved in major strategic decisions” while he is out.
What’s interesting is that while we broke the rumor of Steve being sick a few weeks ago, and speculated that he was resigning months ago, peers at CNBC and All Things D and others were not convinced, because it was hinging on one particular source. Apparently, they believe the story now and are both moving quickly to report it. The letter above clearly notes that his health issues are more complex than previously thought, but his reasons for stepping down include the fact that stories about his health distract the company from doing its core work.
The Wall Street Journal (providing background):
Last week’s disclosure came on the eve of the Macworld trade show, which he had attended every year since 1997. Last month, Mr. Jobs said he wouldn’t give the keynote speech at the conference and Apple would no longer participate after this year. At the time, Apple said he wouldn’t appear because it was cutting down on trade show activities, but the decision spurred new speculation about Mr. Jobs’s health.
Bloomberg (providing way-back background on why Jobs and Apple are intertwined from many investors’ points of view):
Jobs, who co-founded Apple in 1976, returned as CEO in 1997 and transformed the money-losing maker of Macintosh computers. His focus on stylish design and simple-to-use gadgets won over millions of buyers, turning Apple’s iPod media player and iPhone into best sellers. Jobs, who had successful surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004, appeared thinner at Apple events last year.
And finally, a Paul Chapel commenting on the Engadget blog about Jobs’s importance to the world:
Get well, Steve, and thank you for the MacBook Pro I got over Christmas. That thing has helped me meet more girls at Starbucks than what would have been possible otherwise. Look forward to seeing what you have prepared for us in June.