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Jobs takes leave

DISTURBING NEWS FROM CUPERTINO: Steve Jobs announced that he’s taking a medical leave of absence, but added that he’ll continue to be involved in "major strategic decisions" at Apple, while COO Tim Cook once again runs the show, as he did while Jobs was getting a liver transplant in 2008. "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," Jobs wrote in an email to staff. "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." His decision will inevitably lead to speculation about a possible recurrence of the pancreatic cancer he’s battled in the past, as well as impacting the trading of Apple stock, given Jobs' visionary status. (1/17a)

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