Today, he circulated this 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 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.
So that's that, yes? Just leave the man alone and let him get on with whatever is ailing him, right?
Wrong. Apple is the second biggest company in the world. Expecting investors not to enquire as to the nature of Jobs' health concerns is like asking an audience to overlook David Letterman's absence from the David Letterman Show.
Is Jobs out for a month? For 3 months? For good?
A counter-argument might be: "why should investors have a right to know? If they're so worried, just sell the stock."
But Jobs uses the press ruthlessly to suit Apple's purposes. So asking it not to enquire as to the cause of his absence of the world's most important chief executive is just nuts.