Belfast Telegraph

Apple CEO forced to take another time-out after latest health scare

Apple computers co-founder and chief executive Steve Jobs is taking a second work break in two years so he can focus on his health.

Jobs said in a memo to staff he will continue in his job and be involved in major decisions but has asked chief operating officer Tim Cook to run the company.

"I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can," Mr Jobs wrote.

Jobs has a long history of secrecy when it comes to his health, with Apple disclosing major illnesses only after the fact.

He was "cured" of a rare form of pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumour in 2004, but his surgery and recovery were not made public until afterwards.

Then, during a six-month medical leave from January to June 2009, Jobs had a liver transplant. When the leave was announced, there were scant details about his actual diagnosis, and the transplant came to light two months after it was performed.

Few chief executives are considered as instrumental to their companies as Mr Jobs has been to Apple since he returned in 1997 after a 12-year hiatus.

With him serving as head showman and demanding elegance in product design, Apple has expanded from a niche computer maker to become the dominant producer of portable music players, a huge player in the mobile phone business and the inventor, with the iPad, of a new category of tablet computers.

Shares of Apple have plunged in the past with news and rumours about Mr Jobs' health.

During both the 2004 and 2009 health scares, Mr Cook took the reins.