Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) just delivered some startling news, which is actually not startling if you have been following the stories about the health of CEO Steve Jobs. Because of health issues, Steve Jobs is taking a medical leave.
He noted, "….during the past week I have learned that myhealth-related issues are more complex than I originally thought… Inorder to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, andto allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinaryproducts, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until theend of June."
Tim Cook will take over the day-to-day responsibilities of running the company. If youtrust the release from Apple, Steve Jobs will remaininvolved in major strategic decisions while he is out.
Many have been very concerned over Jobs’ health. Theaccusations have been rampant, and now it seems that all of the worstfears over this great CEO leader’s health are at least now partially realized.
Because of Jobs’ dominant presence, many will not really knowanything about Cook. He is already the company’s chief operatingofficer and is responsible worldwide sales and operations. Thisincludes end-to-management of the company supply chain, salesactivities, and service and support. Healso heads the Macintosh division and plays a key role in the continueddevelopment of strategic reseller and supplier relationships.
Before joining Apple, Cook was VP of Corporate Materials at Compaq,responsible for procuring and managing product inventory. He also was the COO of the Reseller Division at Intelligent Electronics.In addition, he spent more than a decade at IBM in leadership in manufacturingand distribution.
Unfortunately, this is only going to draw more fire on the company over its disclosure. Unfortunately, when you have a top CEO like this facing dire health conditions, the duties of the company default to its shareholders rather than to a star CEO such as Jobs. You can bet that critics will be out today or tomorrow already doubting whether or Jobs will return to work in June.
Jon C. Ogg
January 14, 2009