A short while ago, Apple posted a "media advisory" on their public relations website indicating that CEO Stephen P. Jobs has asked for, and has been granted, a second medical leave from the company he helped start.
"Apple CEO Steve Jobs today sent the following email to all Apple employees:
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.
I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for all of Apple’s day to day operations. I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011.
I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, my family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy.
Apple will be in good hands with COO Tim Cook at the helm while Jobs is away from Apple headquarters, and we can also know from the email that Jobs will still very much be involved with making strategic decisions. The good news is that, aside from wild stock price fluctuation in the coming days, many of 2011's new products are already mapped out and "in the pipeline" and will likely not be impacted by Jobs not sitting in his corner office while on leave.