Leo Laporte just reported on an Engadget story that that Apple Guru Steve Jobs is taking a 6 month leave of absence from Apple effective immediately. Apple COO Tim Cook will pinch hit in Jobs absence.
Citing health concerns, Jobs recently pulled out of delivering the last Apple keynote at MacWorld after rumors ran rampant of his health declining due to drastic weight gain. But after rumors resurfaced that he was at death’s door, Jobs was forced to reply in an open letter that due to a hormonal imbalance, he lost more weight than doctors wanted and that a new treatment regimen was forcing his withdrawal from the MacWorld keynote. But this latest development is sure to rock the Apple faithful.
Apple waited until Wall Street closed today to announce the news of Jobs departure, but the rumor had been out there for ten days since Doug Kass over at The Street dropped the rumor in an opening paragraph of an article called “10 Rumors That Could Rock Stocks.”
The timing of making the announcement doesn’t help. And Apple stock has started to drop in off hours trading. Apple’s announcement today that Jobs won’t be operating in his capacity as CEO, will only lend credence to the rumors. Jobs did have a battle with cancer a few years ago and his current health concerns are related to it.
So the speculation begins … will Apple begin the transition into a new era?