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Apple's Steve Jobs takes third medical leave

CEO, 55, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has announced that he will take another medical leave of absence.

Jobs, 55, sent a letter to employees making the announcement. The three-paragraph letter was posted to the media on Monday (Jan. 17).

It is the third medical leave he has taken since being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004, which he said was in remission. In January 2009, Jobs took a six-month medical leave. In June 2009, he announced he had undergone a liver transplant.

Jobs' statement comes a day before the company will announce its first-quarter earnings.

Mobile-phone provider Verizon Wireless and Apple announced on Jan. 11 that Apple's iPhone 4 will be available on the Verizon Wireless network in February.

"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," he stated in the letter.

"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."

Cook is Apple's chief operating officer. In 2009, Cook took the helm while Jobs was recovering from his transplant.

Jobs, who lives in Palo Alto, did not indicate how long he expected to be on leave.

"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," he wrote.

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