back to article Steve Jobs takes medical leave from Apple to focus on health

Steve Jobs has taken a leave of absence from his position as Apple CEO so he can focus on health issues that are "more complex" than he originally thought. In a statement released this afternoon immediately following the suspension of after-hours trading of Apple stock, Jobs said that because "the curiosity over my personal …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Uh Oh

    Health-related issues are more complex than originally thought. That does not bode well.

    I've yet to buy an iPod, iMac, or anything Apple - however, I have been keen for the company to succeed ever since they took on IBM:

    Remember this : http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Zew1bb5Sxk4

    I hope he really gets well and is better by June and this isn't simply a way of drip feeding bad news to lessen the impact on his followers (which includes shareholders).

  2. Christoph

    Well, there's one good thing

    At least he's (almost) rich enough to afford the medical bills.

  3. Lewis Burgess
    Jobs Halo

    Poor guy

    Regardless of whether you're a fanboy or an anti-fanboy, it's a shame that Jobs' health isn't getting better. Apple is not Jobs, but he's done a pretty good job of turning their fortunes with some pretty good products.

    Also nice to see that the Reg has refrained from sarcasm in this story. Maybe when the London hacks are back in the office tomorrow, that might change of course!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obviously the usual petty fanboy bullshit will now appear

    so I'd like to be at least one voice calling for recognition that this is a fellow human being who is suffering, and to wish him well

  5. Bill Cumming
    Coat

    Not a Mac fan....

    ...But I wish Jobs a speedy recovery..

    mines the one with the "red-cross" logo...

  6. Stuart
    Jobs Halo

    Breaking news from el reg

    Hope he feels better soon.

    PS Reg, GJ on keeping the community up-to-date.

  7. Jay Jaffa
    Jobs Halo

    A real loss

    Until this I'd dismissed the rumours surrounding his health. It would be a terrible shame to lose such a free-thinking and creative individual - despite his shortcomings (none of which I've ever had first-hand experience of).

    The good die young they say. I hope it doesn't come to that - why don't they take Ballmer or Gates - they'd be no loss ...

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Tom Paine
    Jobs Halo

    I'm no fanboy

    ...and I have serious issues with Apple's business models and practices; however, as the AC above said, it's good and important to keep things in perspective. I wouldn't wish ill-health on anyone, so I hope Jobs gets better quickly.

    That said,.. I'll be skimming the inevitable Slashdot story at -1. (Does that make me a bad person? </rhetorical> )

  10. Richard
    Jobs Halo

    Good luck Steve

    Subject says it all - All the best.

  11. David Barr
    Jobs Horns

    Hope he recovers

    He's done a lot for the computer world, I don't buy his products, but competition has probably made the ones I do buy, better.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    I'll second

    And third the well wishes for Jobs and his family. He has and I'm sure will continue to do very well at the helm of Apple, but as always family and health issues take precedence. As someone who has been through prolonged illnesses with very immediate family members, multiple times in the past. I genuinely hope his health issues come well under control soon for the sake of all involved.

  13. Eddy Ito

    Inevitable I guess

    Still, this is one Jobs loss report that is especially saddening. Steve got to be one of the few who actually did change the world. Here's hoping he continues to do so.

    Be well Mr. Jobs.

  14. Mo
    Jobs Halo

    Funny how…

    …nobody seems to care what effect this might have on Pixar, eh?

    Anyway, he's done what he said he'd do: told the board, and everyone else, that he's unable to continue running Apple—on a temporary basis, at least. Let's hope, purely for his sake, that he gets better; and let's hope that Apple continues to do what Apple does and demonstrates that the ringmaster isn't the be-all and end-all of the circus.

  15. E_Nigma

    Get Well Soon

    The plunge Apple's stocks take every time Steve sneezes is ridiculous. The company is healthy and has a business strategy for some time to come and hardly depends on the presence of one man. That said, it certainy hadn't been that way when he took over, and, as much as I dislike a few things about Apple, for all he's done he deserves respect and I hope he'll make a full recovery.

    No angel Steve icon as it hopfully won't come to that.

  16. John
    Stop

    confidentiality? we've heard of it!

    "Apple investors deserve to know. Apple devotees want to know. Apple workers have the right to know."

    let the man have his privacy. it's not like he broke his foot 4 weeks before the world cup.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    As many said above...

    ...best of luck to him. Forget the computers - he's been responsible for Pixar since 1986, and that's worth a long, healthy life in itself.

  18. Ian Michael Gumby
    Unhappy

    No reason to panic.

    Truly Steve Jobs is a visionary. Yet Steve Jobs' greatest strength is that he has the ability to get the top talent to actually take his vision to fruition, along with the ability to get the projects to market.

    While its sad to see Steve take a breather, one shouldn't worry about Apple or its future. Jobs had assembled a good team and they are well funded.

    Sad face because its never good to see someone leave the company due to health reasons.

  19. Maverick
    Linux

    @A real loss By Jay Jaffa

    > why don't they take Ballmer or Gates - they'd be no loss ...

    not quite true - I think you'll find that would improve the human gene pool considerably

    </Darwin awards>

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We can not afford to have Jobs depart

    T'he US has a shortage of profitable companies with honest books. If jobs departs

    then possibly Apple will go the way of GMC.

  21. Steven Raith
    Jobs Halo

    Concurrance

    Complications aren't generally a good thing when it comes to health, so I hope Mr Jobs isn't suffering from anything too nasty.

    I'm no Mac apologist, zealot or hater, but Jobs has a knack for getting stuff done as far as Apple are concerned, and the company will be worse off without him, so here's hoping for a recovery, a return, and fair justification to use the Evil Jobs icon once again.

    Steven R

    PS: Have they fixed that DNS issue yet? ;-)

  22. DavCrav Silver badge

    Never wish bad on another

    I've never bought an Apple product. I thought I'd get that out the way. Now: There is not a person alive that should feel ill will toward anyone. Clearly this is not reality, as we see in the Middle East right now... Anyway, I just thought I'd wish him well, and a speedy recovery,.

  23. Aaron Holesgrove
    Jobs Horns

    COVER UP!!!!

    C'mon, we all knew they were hiding this. Jobs is on his deadthbed and all he can think about is his share price. Those shares won't be worth anything to him if he's dead. Time to drop the ego and just bail, if you're not good enough to go then don't do it anymore, and a rocky road for shareholders and replacement staff is someone else's problem.

    What a tool.

  24. Andy
    Jobs Halo

    Thanks...

    ... for refraining from sarcasm, jokes or other devices of poor taste. Standards are appreciated.

    Things must be pretty bad or the guy wouldn't be doing this. At least he's rich enough to get any appropriate treatment.

    Apple is bigger than one man, even a man like Steve Jobs – although it might take more than one man to replace him – but it would still be a blow to the industry to lose such a clear visionary. Here's hoping things aren't as serious as they feel.

  25. Trevor Pott Gold badge

    Get well soon

    Even though I'm not remotely a Mac fan, Steve is an excellent businessman, and has done his company (and himself) proud...so to Steve Jobs: "Get Well Soon."

  26. tardigrade
    Jobs Halo

    Good Luck.

    The tone of the announcement doesn't sound good. Here's hoping that he can come through this and make a triumphant return at the WWDC in June and announce the killer devices that were missing from MacWorld. I sincerely wish him all the best will in the world. Good Luck Steve. We need people like you to stick around for a lot longer.

  27. Eric Dennis
    Jobs Halo

    Apple is Jobs

    Apple is Jobs. As you can see, any rumor about his health taking a turn for the worse cause Apple stock to tank. While someone else could run the company in theory, we all know that Apple made a spectacular turn around when Jobs came back. Hopefully as one person said, this isn't a prelude to an announcement of his health getting worse, to lessen the blow. Hope he gets better. Apple surely needs him and Apple's competitors need him too. I only bought one Mac but it lasted almost 9 years before becoming too obsolete to run newer software. Know any PC's capable of that? I don't.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Presidente is in bueno condition

    Anyone notice the parallels between how Apple is handling Jobs' situation and how Cuba handled Castro's health issues in recent years? Mysterious illnesses, official denials, then carefully arranged appearances followed by discussion of the leader's appearance.

    Not to make too much light of the situation, but it's spooky.

    No icon... they all seem a bit tacky under the conditions.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Eric Dennis

    You'll need to be defining "newer software" I think, so until you do, the answer to your question, "I only bought one Mac but it lasted almost 9 years before becoming too obsolete to run newer software. Know any PC's capable of that?" is "yes", actually.

    Jobs is part visionary, part showman, part salesman and cult icon. And the world needs people like that once in a while for inspiration. Seems like his time is about up but he'll be revered for the truly great things that he and his company have achieved, not just for Apple, but also for the tech world in general. If this reads a bit like a eulogy, it's because I fear that we're being gently prepared for his death.

    I hope I'm wrong.

  30. Robin
    Jobs Halo

    Why the dig Gates?

    This is an article about Jobs's health, so why do some childish fanboys still feel the need to take a dig at Gates in the comments (essentially wishing him dead)? Jobs has been truly visionary in PC market and I hope he recovers in the near future. But, despite what anyone claims, so has Gates. Without Gates we might all still be locked into expensive bespoke IBM solutions.

  31. Gulfie
    Thumb Down

    @Aaron Holesgrove

    Clearly you've never been seriously ill to make comments like this. When you can hear the reaper sharpening his scythe, all you think about is what you can do to make him go away. The last thing on your mind is something that has no influence on your ability to recover from illness. If anything I'd say he's trying to make sure that whatever battle he faces, he does so in private and with dignity.

    The only tool I see is you. Stop your schadenfreude and have some respect for the man.

  32. N Silver badge

    Get Well Soon

    The IT industry needs You!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Sick?

    To use icons of Jobs with a halo?

  34. Whitter
    Jobs Horns

    Best wishes for him, his friends and family

    I don't like the man, but still wish him well.

  35. proops
    Thumb Up

    Thumbs up to the Reg

    for explaining the condition properly. Neuroendocrine cancers may be rare, but we still need people to be aware of them.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    time for positive thinking

    .. for steve that is, i hope he does get better, and with correct treatment i am sure he will. So think positive steve, Get well soon!!

    But, i dont think Apple will survive without him, it almost didnt the first time... and i cannot see it being any better now. This is the worse financial time ever for him to leave. There is no confidence in the market, and as the perceived Apple everything (business plans and road maps mean squat with investors and Apple 'tards) it can only damage the company, maybe beyond recovery

    Its a case of 'watch this space'

    :(

    Glum face cos there is no good news at the moment...

  37. JBR
    Jobs Halo

    stress?

    If I remember my GCSE biology right Islet cells produce insulin; if he's had his pancreas removed he may now have an absolute lack of insulin which would cause diabetes mellitus - signs of which include weight loss. Usually easily controlled with insulin injections but stress can sometimes make this harder. This would be described accurately as a hormonal imbalance

    I hope it's this and not regrowth. He's a visionary and love them or loathe them, Macs, iPods, iPhones have made the world of IT can consumer electronics a prettier place.

    Get well soon.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hormonal imbalance and endocrine tumor???

    sounds like it's back or metastasized -- not good

  39. Roger Heathcote
    Flame

    @Rik Myslewski

    "Apple investors deserve to know. Apple devotees want to know. Apple workers have the right to know. Come clean, Steve. How bad is it?"

    Screw you Rik, neither you or the shareholders 'deserve' to 'know' dick. Give the guy a break FFS. It's bad enough for him to take some time off, what more do you want? to see his frickin medical records? Maybe you could sue him if the doctors prognosis isn't accurate enough and your portfolio suffers. Maybe you could lobby to have a live cancer-cam installed in his ass so you and all these other deserving parties can monitor the progress on your iPhone.

    What he says is up to him, he's an important, influential guy with a family, a life and a multinational company to balance, you are just a nosy schmuck who has an inflated sense of entitlment.

    Roger Heathcote.

  40. Thomas Silver badge

    To add my thoughts to everyone above (except Aaron Holesgrove)

    I don't wish suffering on anyone and I hope that Steve makes a full recovery.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    no title

    While it is sad that somebody may be dying of a nasty cancer I cannot understand why the guy is so important.

    People either love him or hate him ????? Why ? They don't know him. What is with people and their cult of personalities ?

    idiots.

  42. The BigYin
    Flame

    @Rik

    "Come clean, Steve. How bad is it?"

    Why the hell does he need to tell you, us or anyone outside his immediate family and friends? Sure some people have fought their cancer battles in public; that was their choice. Steve wants to keep it private, so be it.

    Lay off the dude. I am sure if anything gets serious enough that requires legal notification; that will happen.

    Maybe it's stress caused by moronic journalists constantly asking him about his health?

    I am not a fanboi (I own nothing by Apple) but it irks me greatly that people simply cannot respect another human being wanting some privacy. Especially for stuff like this.

    Get a grip Rik. Really.

  43. sleepy

    Jobs is the architect, not the company

    Even without him, Apple has deep talent and IP assets, and a roadmap that every competitor would willingly swap for their own.

    Apple management knows where it's going; there's office politics to be settled if Steve Jobs is no longer there, but Tim Cook won't take nonsense any more than SJ did, IMO.

    I suspect the talent that will be most missed is not the vision, or the control freakery, or the presentation skills, but the incredibly astute business tactician that he is.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mo

    No comments around Pixar because I don't think the impact would be noticable.

    Steve provided the money at Pixar and was actually aiming the company in towards the business services/ medical technology market. The talent wasn't his, John Lassetter was responsible for the products that eventually carried pixar through, so Pixar without Jobs would probably do just fine.

    At Apple (rightly or wrongly) he's seen as the focal point. Given his obvious inellect and talents around driving design and arguably innovation it would seem unthinkable that he wouldn't have planned his sucession with his characteristic meticulous approach. But of course Apple is more about emotion than business to Steve Jobs, and last time he looked at real corporate planning the result was his ousting from the board, so it's just possible he hasn't....

    Either way round, I wish him a speedy recovery.

  45. Rob Cumberland

    "Come clean" is just stupid

    First, best wishes for Steve's health. That's what matters.

    The article is pretty good but ended badly for two reasons.

    "Come clean" assumes Steve has not come clean. Who knows? Is the author an oncologist with some inside knowledge? Why the scepticism?

    Further, what does "come clean" mean when you're dealing with cancer? Oncologists deal with probabilities such as "survival at 5 years", cancer-grading, and so on. I'm afraid there is no "clean", at least not in the sense the author demands. Some cancers are 100% lethal, others 100% survivable. Metastatic cancers are not always fatal. This particular one seems to fall somewhere between the extremes.

    The cancer has, we hope, not returned but that might not be entirely positive if other factors are bad. The cancer may have returned but likewise that may not be entirely negative. We are dealing with odds relating to the disease, the treatment, the side effects and the individual. A simple tabloid answer either way is not possible.

    During treatment there are times when you simply have to wait and see.

    So, thanks for news, and the article, but save the accusations and demands for another case and another time.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Visionary - David Bowie style

    Jobs reminds me of Bowie during his *cough* more successful years.

    Bowie managed to predict many of the twists and turns of music and fashion during the 70's and was hailed as being a Visionary at the time. The truth is somewhat different. Bowie saw opportunities and took them. He was a visionary at marketing and selling himself, an ideas magpie.

    Jobs is much the same. He sees the popular ideas around him and makes them work better, drawing in the people with talent to make it possible.

    Hopefully he gets better soon, as the world needs people capable of spotting the best ideas that would otherwise get lost and bringing out the best in them.

  47. Bad Beaver
    Go

    GO

    Go get well, Steve.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Gates?

    First of all, why even bring up Gates?

    Secondly, Gates gives most of his money to charity. He would be missed much more than Jobs IMO.

    Although if Gates did die, I know he has a system in place where most of his fortune gets transfered to his charity organisation.

    So even in death Gates would be doing more for the world than Jobs has/ever will do.

    I hope Jobs the best, but I don't really want him to be CEO any more.

    He got the ball rolling, but his/apples obsession with looks is damaging functionality.

    Paris because people have said some really dumb shit in this thread.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Re: Gates?

    "He got the ball rolling"

    Your first point demonstrates your ignorance of the history of personal computer technology ...

    "but his/apples obsession with looks is damaging functionality"

    ... and your second demonstrates your ignorance of the reality of the Mac environment.

  50. Frank Bough
    Thumb Down

    Important as Jobs is...

    I don't feel we (or he) should be discussing his detailed medical history. If anything should be private, that should. Get well soon, Steve.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Good wishes and best thoughts to

    Mr Jobs and his family, firm and colleagues.

    Now, what about this next W7 beater?

  52. Sean Baggaley

    Steve is not Apple.

    I wish Steve all the best, whatever his health problems are. However, I do wish the frequent cults of personality this industry plays host to would cease.

    Jonathan Ive -- the industrial and usability design brain behind many of Apple's recent successes (and arguably far more deserving of credit for the iPhone, iMac and iPod) -- was hired way back in the early-90s, long before Jobs' reappearance on the scene. (The iMac was already heading for production when Jobs' NeXT company was bought by Apple.)

    Jobs is responsible for Ive now being the VP of Industrial Design, so Ive is the name to drop when drooling over the specific aesthetics and design choices Apple makes.

    Jobs is a salesman who understands technology and how people use it, but Apple won't fall apart as long as there is *someone* there willing to assert that "'Good enough' is NOT good enough!" This industry needs far more people with the same attitude. Good on Jobs.

    (And no, I don't own an iPhone. I own a Nokia 2630; the cheapest phone I could get with Bluetooth. I do own an early '08 MacBook Pro though.)

  53. Daniel

    I know its the Registers job to report tech news...

    But let the man have his privacy...

    Get well soon Steve.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Obsessed over nothing...

    Yes its sad the mans suffering... but what the heck is the obsession with him and the future of Apple?

    He is not Apple... yes he's a rather iconic figurehead... but nothing more than that.

    Apple is still going to be apple... all this crap is spewing is more dread and doomsaying.... and likewise the public eats it up like the hungry paranoid stock market grabbers they are.

    Enough is enough! Get on with your lives folks..sheesh!

    I wish him well but knock off the dark and the gloom!

  55. Scott

    @ Sean Baggaley

    Jonathan Ive _CBE_, if you please ;)

    I own no Apple stuff but their designs are excellent, Jonathan Ive truly is an inspiration to all kinds of designer all over the world. The man who saved Apple just by making things look nice - amazing really if you think about it.

    I wish Steve and his family well.

  56. Neil
    Jobs Halo

    Obligatory XKCD link

    http://www.xkcd.com/527/

  57. Daniel B.
    Jobs Halo

    Jobs is Apple, kind of

    Some argue that Jobs isn't Apple, and that Apple will go on without him. Others say that Apple is Jobs, and Apple will die if he dies.

    I think that Jobs is Apple *in its current incarnation*. That is, the Apple that goes on the "I do things my way! If you don't like it, f**k off!!" policy, the one that says "We are always right. The customer doesn't know what he wants, we know!". I much prefer the pre-second Jobs coming Apple as it had been more open back then. Innovation would've come into Apple anyway, with or without Jobs, as some have mentioned. Look at Microsoft, it still goes on even without Gates at the helm.

    That said, if Jobs does have a second cancer reappearance, it is not going to be easy on him. I personally have seen the effects of a *third* cancer reactivation with metastasized tumors; if this is Jobs' case, he will reach a point in which he won't have strength to do even basic stuff, let alone run a company. And this will happen regardless of him surviving this or not. I really hope he doesn't suffer.

  58. Drak

    does anyone really know Jobs?

    I would never wish bad health or death on anyone, and I hope the best for Jobs. But I think the public should take an honest look at his legacy, yes he is a brilliant designer and leader in tech innovation, but the other side to that is that he is also the most abusive corporate head that Im aware of. Is exploits of overworking and humiliating his employees are legendary. I dont know how he got away with it as its very common for employees to sue companies for such abuse. Im not trying to say he should suffer for his bad karma either, but now that he is not in control I wish people would take time to step back and reflect on what really has gone on at Apple.

  59. Ze

    Jobs Health

    Whilst I have sympathy for anybody suffering a serious illness and I hope they get better.

    Steve Jobs and Apple have brought the calls for full disclosure on themselves by not only building a cult of Steve Jobs around him but also by how they've handled his health concerns instead of being honest they've done their best to play them down.

  60. dave

    @JBR

    " If I remember my GCSE biology right Islet cells produce insulin; if he's had his pancreas removed he may now have an absolute lack of insulin which would cause diabetes mellitus - signs of which include weight loss. Usually easily controlled with insulin injections but stress can sometimes make this harder. This would be described accurately as a hormonal imbalance"

    You remember correctly but incompletely. The symptoms such as weight loss occur at initial onset. Once the person is taking insulin the weight goes back to normal and in many cases people become overweight because they take too much insulin and then overeat to compensate.

    I have been a selective buyer of Apple products and remember working on the old Apple ][ machines - I wish you the best Steve.

  61. A. Coatsworth
    Flame

    @sleepy

    All that is true and good... but try to convince the brainless drones that run the stock exchange about that.

    Why has the share price to drop everytime the man sneezes? That's just plain stupid... but it happens anyway.

    I hope Jobs recovers, but if he doesn't, why has the company and share holders to suffer an economic loss because of his departure?

    ... Well, I for one consider the stock markets as the most stupid and obnoxious invention of mankind (worse than WMDs or anything I can think of) so it doesn't surprise me.

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