Apple CEO Steve Jobs has informed his employees that he has taken a medical leave of absence to focus on his health.
He said in a company-wide email: "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 [chief operating officer] 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."
Jobs added: "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."
The executive has previously taken leave from Apple to undergo treatments for pancreatic cancer.
Last week it was reported that Apple has slyly made changes to the iPhone 4 hardware to deal with the antenna issues that plagued early adopters.