Apple CEO Steve Jobs said Wednesday he will take a medical leave of absence until the end of June. He said COO Tim Cook will run the company during his absence.
Jobs, 53, said his health has deteriorated to the point it can't be ignored. Earlier this month he said a hormone imbalance caused a noticeable loss of weight, but gave few details. Jobs successfully battled pancreatic cancer in 2004.
"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," Jobs said. "During the last week, I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought."
Apple's stock fell more than eight percent after trading was halted for the announcement.
Concerns about Jobs' health escalated in December when Apple announced he would not give the keynote address at this month's Macworld in San Francisco. Apple's stock price fell, and Oppenheimer & Co. said it would not recommend Apple stock until Apple provided information about Jobs' health and plans for a successor.
Philip Schiller, vice president of Apple's worldwide product marketing, gave the keynote at Macworld. The day before the address, Jobs released a letter citing the hormone imbalance.
Cook has been considered a possible successor to Jobs and ran the company during Job's 2004 absence for cancer surgery.