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Apple Businesses

Steve Jobs Takes Leave of Absence From Apple 429

Posted by timothy
from the get-well-soon dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Network World: "A number of sites are reporting that Apple's CEO Steve Jobs is taking a leave of absence till June at least. Speculation over Jobs' possibly failing health has run rampant in the past few weeks. Prior to the recent MacWorld show, Jobs said he had a hormone deficiency that had caused him to dramatically lose weight. In a memo today Jobs told workers his health issues are more complex than he thought." Reader Bastian227 adds a link to this letter from Steve Jobs on Apple's website, which also says that Tim Cook will be responsible for daily operations, though Jobs will remain involved with major strategic decisions.
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Steve Jobs Takes Leave of Absence From Apple

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  • June... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jcr (53032)

    That's usually when WWDC happens. I think he's planning on doing that keynote.

    -jcr

    • I think he's planning on doing that keynote.

      On what basis?

      On a different note, this is a sad day for those owning AAPL shares - expect them to plunge even further than they have over the past year.

      • Re:June... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by johnsonav (1098915) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @07:04PM (#26457375) Journal

        On a different note, this is a sad day for those owning AAPL shares - expect them to plunge even further than they have over the past year.

        Well, if you didn't see this coming a mile off, you probably shouldn't be in the market at all.

      • by GuloGulo (959533) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @07:56PM (#26458269)

        On a different note, this is a sad day for those owning AAPL shares - expect them to plunge even further than they have over the past year.

        No.

        If the company is sound, this will be a short term drop follwed by a recovery. If you own shares, and think AAPL is sound without Jobs, then selling makes no sense. Instead, you should be buying the discounted shares in anticipation of a recovery, which is what strong companies do.

        On the other hand, if you think AAPL is not strong without Jobs, then WTF were you doing buying AAPL in the first place?

        In short, you are making the same mistake all amateurs make.

        And no, I'm not a pro, but this point has been emphasized enough, and proven accurate enough, that I take it as correct.

        • by Arthur B. (806360) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @08:02PM (#26458339)

          Also AAPL is good to own in a recession.

          Imagine the total demand for computers shrink 10%.
          If you're Dell, you car a lot.
          If you're Apple, you can still double your sales, you simply grow in market share.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Lehk228 (705449)
            apple computers are more luxury items then PCs. in todays economy unless you are completely screwed you really do need to have an internet connection and a computer. a cheap PC will win out every time if someone is watching their budget.
          • by dangitman (862676) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @01:30AM (#26461867)

            If you're Dell, you car a lot.

            Do we have to bring car analogies into everything?

        • by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross&yahoo,ca> on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @08:31PM (#26458745)

          I am in the market and write trading systems, and could not have said it better myself.

          The thing about Steve Jobs and these sorts of leaders is when to let go. Lou Gerstner brought back IBM from the dead. Then he let go. IBM is still alive and kicking.

          Nokia's past CEO made Nokia what it was and then he let go. Nokia is still alive and kicking.

          Microsoft is an example of how one half let's go and the other half does not. I am actually much more pessimistic with Microsoft than Apple.

          In the past Apple lacked execution. They had great ideas, but poor execution. Now Apple has execution, and it is NOT STEVE JOBS that did the execution. Think about it, how well did Apple execute with Steve Jobs previously? Or how about Next? NOT AT ALL! What was different this time is that Steve Jobs built a team...

          Ideas are a dime a dozen. The ability to execute on the idea is what makes the difference... And that Apple can do...

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by daviddennis (10926)

            If we think about the team here, Jony Ive can design the computers, Phil Schiller can market them and Tim Cook can make sure the financials come out all right.

            I think we will all miss Steve but Apple itself will do just fine.

            I wish Steve joy in relaxation - he has had one of the busiest lives I could ever think of - and a speedy recovery and return to the helm.

            D

        • On the other hand, if you think AAPL is not strong without Jobs,

          Well, I am a whiney apple fanboy, so of course I believed Apple's statements saying Jobs was in good health & thought he'd be running the company for years to come....

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by DrXym (126579)
          If the company is sound, this will be a short term drop follwed by a recovery. If you own shares, and think AAPL is sound without Jobs, then selling makes no sense. Instead, you should be buying the discounted shares in anticipation of a recovery, which is what strong companies do.

          The problem with Apple, is that the stock price is sustained by hype. Hype for cool new products. Fortunately or unfortunately for Apple, the hype is mostly generated by Steve Jobs. If he goes, the price of the company is going

      • Re:June... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Gerzel (240421) * <brollyferret@NoSPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @08:50PM (#26458993) Journal

        I don't think so.

        Don't count Apple out just because Jobs is gone. He isn't the ONLY person working at Apple and he certainly isn't the once and future designer.

        Sure they might not do as well but they still have Ipods, Itunes, Imacs and a lot of Fanboys and Girls.

        And say what you will Apple does make some good, if expensive hardware and software.

        Jobs may be more than just a figurehead but he is hardly all the company has going for it.

      • Re:June... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bdbolton (830677) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @08:58PM (#26459111) Journal
        On a different note, this is a sad day for those owning AAPL shares - expect them to plunge even further than they have over the past year.

        Ohh and I don't know it might also be a sad day for his family. Let's get some perspective here. He has serious health issues and people seem to care more about the stock prices.
    • by Trillan (597339)

      That's a big chunk of work to schedule yourself to return to. But he could probably do a recap and introduce Bertrand Serlet to do the Mac stuff, then Scott Forstall to do the iPhone stuff.

      • by jcr (53032)

        That's a big chunk of work to schedule yourself to return to.

        It doesn't all have to be done at the last minute, and he does know what Apple's plans and projections are already.

        -jcr

    • Re:June... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3 AT phroggy DOT com> on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @07:05PM (#26457403) Homepage

      That's usually when WWDC happens. I think he's planning on doing that keynote.

      -jcr

      I don't think so. WWDC was June 9-13 last year, and Jobs' announcement [apple.com] specifically says "until the end of June." There will be tons of cool stuff to show off at WWDC this year, and it doesn't make sense to bet on Jobs' health improving enough to be able to do the keynote, especially if he won't be involved with operations beforehand.

      • by jcr (53032)

        WWDC doesn't always happen at the same time, and it was even postponed after announcement in 2003 to include the G5 introduction. It could easily be late June or early July.

        -jcr

  • Get well, Steve (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rayban (13436) * on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @06:55PM (#26457231) Homepage

    Love 'em or hate 'em, he's changed a lot in the tech sector. His presence will be missed.

    • by ColdWetDog (752185) * on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @06:58PM (#26457273) Homepage

      Love 'em or hate 'em, he's changed a lot in the tech sector. His presence will be missed.

      He's not dead yet!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hao Wu (652581)

      Love 'em or hate 'em, he's changed a lot in the tech sector. His presence will be missed.

      I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @06:57PM (#26457247)

    He had to lose weight and do hormone therapy before all of the bionic implants could go in...

  • Soo... (Score:5, Funny)

    by denzacar (181829) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @07:02PM (#26457335) Journal

    Would it be safe to say that there is a Jobs opening at Apple?

    Or would that be Steve closing?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @07:03PM (#26457351)

    This is all just part of the build-up for what will be the most astounding corporate marketing stunt of all time: the death and resurrection of Steve Jobs.

    • If I have to buy the entire collector's comic series in order to find out which of the four Steve Jobs' is the "real" one, I'm switching to Windows!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by unitron (5733)

      This is all just part of the build-up for what will be the most astounding corporate marketing stunt of all time: the death and resurrection of Steve Jobs.

      So the next product announcement will be for ... the iCorpse?

  • by gustar (125316) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @07:08PM (#26457441)

    Even with the prospect of Jobs having of an extended absence from the day-to-day at Apple I think we will see the company continue to do fine, or at least continue on their existing business path.

    While leadership is a key element of business success, so is having a well balanced team of professionals driving your development/innovation teams.

    I have to image Apple has this balance in their organization.

  • by geekmux (1040042) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @07:10PM (#26457497)

    "Jobs said he had a hormone deficiency that had caused him to dramatically lose weight..."

    In related news...

    Shareholders show that a Common Sense Deficiency(CSD) causes them to dramatically lose faith in Apple whenever the mere thought of their beloved Steve leaving in any way, shape, or form is mentioned...

  • by AlpineR (32307) <wagnerr@umich.edu> on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @07:16PM (#26457621) Homepage

    I wish him well. As someone who had to retire at age 33 to fight cancer, I know how discouraging it is to have your body spoil what your brain wants to do. But I also found that giving up the full-time job really did improve my health and led to greater productivity in my remaining activities.

  • by cuby (832037) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @07:17PM (#26457643)
    He was already missed before even leaving, as recent speculation testifies.
  • Python (Score:2, Funny)

    by GFree678 (1363845)

    Oblig.:

    The Dead Collector: Bring out yer dead.

    [a man puts a body on the cart]

    Large Man with Dead Body: Here's one.
    The Dead Collector: That'll be ninepence.
    Steve Jobs: I'm not dead.
    The Dead Collector: What?
    Large Man with Dead Body: Nothing. There's your ninepence.
    Steve Jobs: I'm not dead.
    The Dead Collector: 'Ere, he says he's not dead.
    Large Man with Dead Body: Yes he is.
    Steve Jobs: I'm not.
    The Dead Collector: He isn't.
    Large Man with Dead Body: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.
    Steve Jobs: I'm getting bett

  • by Ohio Calvinist (895750) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @07:22PM (#26457723)
    Seems like a good idea for Steve to take some time. It gives him a chance to see how well Cook handles the shop when no major new products are shipping and seems to indicate that he is at least semi-comfortable that he's got the right management to oversee day-to-day operations, and gives them a chance to fine-tune anything should he want to retire or passes away pre-maturely. As die-hard as he is, I can't imagine him doing the keynotes if he is too frail (physically) to "wow" the crowd.

    Since the major aesthetic overhall in the iMac, MBP and MB lines in the past year or two, and OS X 10.6 shaping up to be a smaller update (aesthetically and technically) to 10.5 than the 10.4->10.5 jump was; it doesn't appear that there is going to be much "new business" from now to then. Maybe some hardware line updates to faster chips, and some 10.5.x updates; but nothing major. I'd imagine 10.6 won't even ship until summer [wikipedia.org]; just in time for the WWDC in June.
    • by wish bot (265150) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @08:44PM (#26458909)

      Steve may be a mirco-managing megalomanic, but he also has some REALLY good people working at Apple who don't receive wider recognition (much).

      For all we know, all those annoying things about Apple (eg - lack of headless iMac, lack of Firewire on Macbooks, crappy iLife feature refreshes...) might go away with Steve's absence too.

      Those guys working under Steve might be getting their chance to shine.

  • Cancer sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by groovyPost (1452085) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @07:30PM (#26457877) Homepage
    I'll bet there will be no returning for Jobs. Sad news but a lesson to all. A company should never be about "A" person. None of us are eternal.
  • Scotty!... (Score:4, Funny)

    by simaolation (1381125) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @07:54PM (#26458245)
    ...We need MORE POWER to the REALITY DISTORTION FIELD, now!
  • Buy buy buy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fished (574624) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [yrogihpma]> on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @08:50PM (#26458995)
    I'm going to buck the trend, and say "buy buy buy". Let me put it this way: on the one hand, Steve Jobs is seriously ill, and may be out of the picture. On the other hand:
    1. Apple has got the best operating system available, stable, and for the moment feature complete.
    2. The iPhone has a nice lead over the competition. The BB Storm seems to be in the process of failing to be an iPhone killer, and while its too soon to say on the Palm Pre, I do notice that they are now selling iPhone's at Walmart. That says something important about demand.
    3. iTunes store just made a major step forward that gave them feature parity with their competition, at a time when they're still ahead in market share.
    4. Apple's brand still has a lot of "shiny gloss to it
    5. Jobs going might be a *good* thing, because it might open up the path for Apple to offer OSX to other manufacturers. In the short term, this is admittedly risky, since it could cannabilize hardware sales. But, if done right... software is awesome to sell, because the marginal cost approaches zero. And let's not forget that there are a number of other products (iLife, iWork, Final Cut, ProTools, etc.) that could benefit from OSX being more widely deployed.

    I just don't see that Jobs going changes the fundamentals of the company all that much. I think Apple at the current price is a great buy, and if it tanks tomorrow, it is a great buy. Time to take some money out of bonds :)

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