Apple boss Steve Jobs to take ‘medical leave of absence’

iPod man steps down till June

Apple boss Steve Jobs has announced he is taking a medical leave of absence until June.

The man behind the iPod company revealed he will take a break from day-to-day operations according to a statement issued on Apple.com last night (June 14).

“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,” he explained.

He added: “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.”

However, Jobs said he would still be involved in “major strategic decisions” during his absence.

There has been consistent speculation about the Apple boss’s health after he appeared to look gaunt at recent announcements, although no specific condition has been confirmed – though Jobs did recently say he was suffering from a “hormone deficiency”.

Jobs was also forced to take a break for health reasons in 2004 when he battled a bout of pancreatic cancer. On that occasion he returned after six months, leading many commentators to believe he will return again this summer.