Jobs informed employees of his decision via email

Apple‘s chief operating officer Tim Cook is set to take over day-to-day running of the technology business from CEO Steve Jobs – who has gone on medical leave.

Jobs told employees of the news via email, stating that the move is voluntary. He added that he intends to return to the company as soon as possible.

Following the move, he will still continue as Apple‘s CEO, with Cook stepping up to ensure day-to-day business runs smoothly, reports BBC News.

Jobs is revered as the catalyst for Apple products including the iPod, iPhone and iPad. He took time off in late 2008 to have a liver transplant as treatment for pancreatic cancer, which he was first diagnosed with in 2004.

Writing in the email, he explained: “At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company.”

The announcement comes on a public holiday in the US, so share prices for the company have not yet been affected, although Apple shares traded in Frankfurt dropped seven per cent following the news breaking.