It is common knowledge that Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs has taken medical leave recuperating from a hormone imbalance, perhaps treatment related.

It is also common knowledge that Apple’s COO, Tim Cook will be taking over as acting CEO till Jobs’ return in June.

The following is an excerpt of the email sent to Apple employees released to the media(Source:CNET.com)

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.

A CEO taking a medical leave of absence is not unheard of but Steve Jobs’ leave of absence is something of a media item, both in the tech and business world. He has, in his return as CEO since the mid 90s, become the embodiment of a company that has almost single handedly changed mass media consumption. He is a tech icon who is likened to other moguls such as Howard Hughes. Steve Jobs pretty much lifted the company from the brink of non existence to become the second most valuable company in the world next to Exxon Mobil. His obsession for perfection of form and function, coupled with this micro managerial methods have led to Apple’s products being an extension of him. He is Apple and Apple is him.

Pundits and analysts alike are speculating as to what this would mean for the company if he leaves for good. Apple , currently has posted a record breaking 26.7 billion US dollar quarterly profits but its stock prices have fallen by a small amount. The latter, no doubt, is a predictable trend secondary to Jobs’ medical leave announcement. The short term effects of his leave of absence will not affect Apple. It is the possible long term effects that have been the cause for much media attention and speculation.

Apple has secured a solid road map with its devices and its iOS platform and Apple houses the best talents in programming and industrial design.The collective talent within Apple should maintain its strength. It should be iterated that Steve Jobs is neither a programmer nor a hardware designer. He is, a glorified salesperson but there is no doubt that Jobs is the force that binds Apple’s talent. As CEO, he has a unique skill set of bringing talented people together and pushing them to make desirable and class defining products.

His battle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer and its spread to the liver is common knowledge. His life span is no doubt truncated and Apple will lose its captain at some point. Succession plans are surely in place and Apple’s roadmap for the future is set in stone. The key question here is whether Apple will continue to maintain its pole position in the tech world.

Whatever said and done, Apple will not be the same without Steve Jobs.

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