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Steve Jobs takes new medical leave, keeps CEO title

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is taking a medical leave of absence from the company to focus on his health, the company announced Monday. Steve-jobs

Jobs will continue as the company’s CEO and said he would continue to be involved in major strategic decisions for the company – but chief operating officer Tim Cook will be responsible for day-to-day operations at Apple.

“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,” said Jobs in an email sent to employees. “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.”

This is not the first time Jobs has had to take a medical leave since his return to the company in 1996. It is, in fact, his second such leave in two years. 

Jobs, of course, is seen as the driving force behind Apple – and the company’s stock is taking a hit overseas. (U.S. markets are closed today for the MLK holiday.) His health has been an ongoing concern for investors and fans of the company, who worry that his absence from the company will impact Apple’s ability to produce innovative, market-changing products. 

In mid-2004, Jobs announced he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. And in June 2009, he underwent a liver transplant.