Hit or Miss? Apple CEO Steve Jobs announces sick leave

Ailing Apple? Apple's sudden announcement that CEO Steve Jobs was to take medical leave led to numerous column inches this week.

Jobs, who suffers from bowel cancer, sent an email to staff explaining that COO Tim Cook would run the company in his absence. As the company's shares in Frankfurt dropped 7.5 per cent, the media pounced on the news. 'Apple faces turmoil as Jobs takes sick leave,' ran The Times' front page headline.

HOW I SEE IT

Emma Hazan, MD, Skywrite PR

By separating this necessary update from the hard numbers in Apple's financial results, which were due the day after the announcement, Apple has detached the issue of Steve Jobs' health from the ongoing performance of the company.

With no trading in the US because of the public holiday on Monday, Apple has given the majority of shareholders the opportunity to reflect on the news in the context of the actual financial performance of the company.

By being open, rather than seeking to camouflage the news, Apple has also shown confidence in its broader executive team, while emphasising that Jobs will 'be involved in major strategic decisions'. Certain things in life, like the health of a CEO, are not in a communicator's full control, but given the circumstances Apple has taken the right steps.

HIT

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