Steve Jobs to take medical leave until late June

So much for that "hormone imbalance" Steve Jobs said he could treat in a "straightforward" way while carrying out his duties as Apple's CEO. According to the Associated Press, Jobs has sent out an e-mail to his staff saying his condition is more serious than he thought, and that he'll be taking a break until the summer.

Times Online has posted the contents of the message, which includes the following:

I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. 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.

I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple’s day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan.

Analysts and journalists have often named Tim Cook as the likeliest candidate to replace Jobs in the event of his departure, and it looks like he'll be partially filling that role over the next few months. Jobs does seem to plan on coming back, though—he closes the e-mail with, "I look forward to seeing all of you this summer."

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