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.
"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.
Jobs, 52 years old, is a survivor of pancreatic cancer.
Apple's stock was halted shortly before the statement was released outlining developments -- and then it plunged as much as 7% after hours.
Strategy Session with the Fast Money Traders
CNBC’s Jim Goldman explains to the Fast Money traders that his sources are seriously concerned about Jobs’ health. However Goldman emphasizes that he doesn’t know if the cancer has come back.
The news was likely kept under wraps because the stock market questions if Apple can thrive without Jobs at the helm.
Piper Jaffrey Apple analyst Gene Munster reminds the traders that no one can replace Steve Jobs, but the new leader Tim Cook is “very capable of running the operations of the company. But replacing the magic of Steve Jobs is impossible."