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Steve Jobs takes "medical leave of absence"

Steve Jobs takes a "medical leave of absence" from his position as CEO of Apple until June.

Steve Jobs takes a "medical leave of absence" from his position as CEO of Apple until June.

Here's a copy of the letter he sent to Apple employees:

Team,

I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.

In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June.

I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple's day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan.

I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.

Steve

AAPL stock is trading down some 7.5% after hours. I expect things to be even uglier for Apple stock tomorrow but if I owned AAPL stock (which I don't) I'd hold onto it. Might even be a good time to buy more stock.

Expect a maelstrom of rumors and speculation to follow.

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