As many of you already know, recently the community has been consumed by fears, doubts, debate and concern over the state of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ health. This culminated in a series of announcements from Jobs, the most recent of which made intense waves on the Mac Web with the news that he will be stepping down from his position until at least June for a “medical leave of absence.”
The following message was sent from Jobs to Apple employees on Wednesday:
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.
Obviously, this will be a period of extraordinary change and upheaval for Apple and everyone at Infinite Loop — though the larger corporate enterprise, particularly its international and Retail Store arms, will continue to sail smoothly along with little difference in the day-to-day work experience, the impact of this turn of events for the teams that actually plan, develop and bring to market the company’s products is a matter of far greater debate and concern.
As we have said in conversations across the Internet and on numerous phone calls with sources who are current & former Apple employees….the role that Steve Jobs plays at the Loop these days is far different from the stereotypical image that most people imagine.
That image is based on the Steve Jobs in the early years of his return to Cupertino, when it still required an iron hand and an almost sociopathic level of (apparent, if not necessarily 100% real) self-confidence to steer the company away from the path Gil Amelio and his predecessors had set for it…..and when many employees, while talented, still needed to be jolted out of complacency to truly Think Different.
Many people still imagine Steve going on random tirades with underlings in the elevator, his hands constantly in every project setting absolute requirements for developmental products such as how big they are, how expensive, and the smallest details of how they work/look….on occasion, viciously tearing apart an employee’s ideas which may have taken months if not years to come up with.