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Steve Jobs will be taking a hiatus from his post as Apple's CEO, according to an email he sent to employees that was posted on Business Wire this morning.

According to the email, Apple's board of directors granted Jobs the leave so he can focus on his health, which has been in question since Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003-04.

"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," Jobs wrote, adding that Tim Cook, Apple's COO, "will be responsible for all of Apple's day to day operations" in his absence.

Details were few beyond Jobs expressing his love for Apple and a request that the public respect his privacy.

Investors and analysts have been vocal about their concerns over leadership at Apple since Jobs' last medical leave, which began in January 2009. During that absence, Jobs went to Tennessee for a liver transplant. Apple reported that Jobs had returned to his post in June of 2009.

Jobs' absence could have an effect on Apple's stock price, which rose sharply by over 6 percent over the past two weeks after Verizon Wireless announced it would be getting the iPhone 4. Today is a market holiday in the United States, but Apple stock today slid 6 percent in Germany.

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