Pictures of Steve Jobs just a few years apart.
Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs stunned shareholders and the tech world by announcing that he was taking a leave of absence until the end of June due to health reasons.
Apple's stock was halted shortly before Apple released a statement by Job outlining his decision.
"During the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought," Jobs said in an email to Apple employees.
"In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June," he added.
The news came just a week after Jobs revealed that a hormone imbalance was at the root of weight loss that has prompted speculation about his health.
Jobs, 52 years old, is a survivor of pancreatic cancer.
Although there were repeated rumors about Jobs' health throughout most of last year, the speculation intensified in recent weeks after Jobs said he would not be making his annual keynote address at the Macworld conference in San Francisco, which begins Tuesday.
Apple said this year's conference will be its last, and Phil Schiller, a marketing executive, will be giving the company's presentation.