Apple chief executive officer Steve Jobs took a leave of absence as a rare form of cancer he’s been battling since 2004 and a more recent liver transplant worsened his health, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
Jobs has been unable to keep on weight as he undergoes treatment, said the person, who requested anonymity because the matter is private.
The announcement that chief operating officer Tim Cook will handle day-to-day operations came on Monday — a market holiday in the US — ahead of first-quarter earnings report due out after yesterday’s market close.
Apple was projected to report profit of US$5.39 a share on sales of US$24.4 billion, according to the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Discussion of those results may be overshadowed by questions about Jobs’s health and about his future involvement in the company, said Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray Cos in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Jobs, who cofounded Apple in 1976, took two previous leaves — for cancer surgery in 2004 and the transplant in 2009.
He will stay on as CEO, Apple said on Monday, citing an e-mail to employees from Jobs.
“I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can,” Jobs, 55, said in the e-mail.
He said he would continue to “be involved in major strategic decisions for the company.”
He didn’t say when he may return, and Steve Dowling, an Apple spokesman, declined to elaborate.
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