The unexpected media advisory came just a day ahead of Apple's earnings call scheduled for tomorrow.
Apple's boss spooked investors, users and fans alike when an unexpected leave of absence two years ago followed frenzied reports of his fragile appearance at Apple's public events.
Tremendous media pressure forced the iconic CEO to formally announce a six-month leave of absence, during which time he underwent a liver transplant procedure.
Here's what today's statement from Apple reads:
At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company.
I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for all of Apple’s day to day operations. I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011.
The statement goes on to express Jobs' hope to be "back as soon as I can" and calls upon the media to respect his and his family's privacy.
The wording of the statement implies this medical leave may not be that alarming because Apple explicitly mentioned Jobs will continue operating at a CEO capacity. However, during his first medical leave in January 2009 Jobs also remained Apple's CEO while Timothy Cook took over day-to-day operations at the time. Cook, 50, a former Compaq executive, is Apple's chief of operations whom Fortune views as Jobs' likely successor.
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