Apple CEO Jobs taking medical leave

Apple Inc.'s CEO Steve Jobs said Wednesday he is taking a medical leave of absence until the end of June.
In this Oct. 2008 file photo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs jokes about his health during a product announcement at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. ((Paul Sakuma/Associated Press))
Apple Inc.'s CEO Steve Jobs announced Wednesday he is taking a medical leave of absence until the end of June, despite saying a week earlier that his health issues wouldn't keep him out of his office.

Jobs, 53, told employees in a letter last week that he was suffering dramatic weight loss due to a hormone deficiency. He said at the time he had begun treating the condition and wished to remain at his post.

But in Wednesday's email, Jobs backtracked, saying his health issues are more complex than he thought.

"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," Jobs wrote in the email.

"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."

Apple's chief operating officer, Tim Cook, will take over Jobs's day-to-day responsibilities while Jobs is on leave. Jobs, a survivor of a rare form of pancreatic cancer, said he will remain involved in major strategic decisions.

Shortly after the news broke, trading in Apple stock was halted. But when it resumed around 5 p.m. ET, it plunged in extended trading, down $8.82 to $76.51.

With files from the Associated Press