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.
The memo has also been posted by MDS, here.
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. When Jobs took off last to undergo surgery for pancreatic cancer, he took one month off. Here's he's taking six.
Also, the NYTimes is hinting that either Jobs found out about a change in his condition after the Macworld keynote, a little more than a week ago, or the resignation was carefully timed to avoid conflicting with previous statements news. (This analysis comes in spite of the part of the memo stating he found out his health was discovered to be doing more poorly "during the past week".)
The silver lining is that Steve is looking "forward to seeing everyone this summer". I hope his rest goes well and he returns well in June.
Editor's Note: We got a lot of heat for breaking the unpopular rumor of Steve being too sick to present at Macworld 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, and in conflict with what Apple and other sources have told them. The NYTimes edited Jesús Diaz's piece out of the first draft of the story, and the AP reported it out of thin air. Apparently, they all believe the story now. Special thanks to Josh Q. at Time and Dan F and the team at Silicon Alley Insider for the faith and for not shooting the messenger.