Apple Inc Chief Executive Steve Jobs has been granted medical leave to concentrate on his health, he said on Monday.
During his leave of absence, Chief Operating Officer Tom Cook will be responsible for day-to-day operations.
Below are comments on the news:
ALEXANDER PETERC, EQUITY ANALYST, EXANE
It wasn't expected, this will come as a surprise to Apple investors and definitely take some shine off the Apple stock.
But even if Steve Jobs never returns to Apple, I would not expect a visible, tangible impact on how Apple is executing over the next couple of years.
In the long run, you could suspect that because Apple is becoming a very large organization, it might lose some of its innovative edge. Also the fact that every product that Apple put out to the market was closely monitored by Jobs, also meant something for what they brought to the market.
But that is something that might pan out over a couple of years. What they have in store now is enough to keep them going for quite a while. They've been through a major innovation cycle with their product lines. I think they have plenty to work on in the near term and they need to nurture the existing lines.
JAMES CORDWELL, ANALYST, ATLANTIC EQUITIES:
It's surprising and not great for Steve himself obviously.
We've been here before at the start of 2009, so it's probably going to be similar to that. Operationally the company coped very well last time, but there's a certain Jobs premium in the stock, and that will be the concern.
RICHARD WINDSOR, GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST, NOMURA:
Honestly, the effect on the company will probably not be that great in terms of fundamentals.
Perception of the company is another matter. Steve Jobs is seen by the market to be a major force in Apple's strategic direction. If his pancreatic cancer has returned, one could be quite worried.
BEN WOOD, HEAD OF RESEARCH, CCS INSIGHT:
The knee-jerk reaction is likely to be negative. However, I think that Apple is clearly a much bigger company than one person and we now have a proof point from last time that the company was in safe hands under the sure step of Tim Cook and I don't think they'll deviate from their current course.
We'll continue to see great things from Apple. I think this is probably about him stepping back from the pressure of the big events.
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan, Kate Holton and Paul Sandle; Editing by David Holmes)