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Tuesday, 18 January 2011 13:07

Apple shares slide over Jobs medical leave

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Down 5% in European trading
Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ decision to take a medical leave of absence is starting to have a negative impact on Apple shares.

Apple’s stocks slumped on the Frankfurt stock exchange Tuesday morning and the trend is expected to continue as soon as the NYSE opens for trading. Analysts are concerned by Jobs’ announcement and what it could mean for the company in the long run.

Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook will manage the company until Jobs returns. Despite the fact that Cook is not nearly as well known as Jobs, it should be noted that he led Apple during Jobs’ last leave of absence in 2009. Despite the economic downturn, Apple’s shares jumped by about 60 percent during Cook’s tenure, so it is quite clear that he is a capable and proven leader.

However, the major concern for investors and analysts is not the short-term, but rather Apple’s strategic long-term plans. Some observers speculate that Cook was “groomed” as Jobs’ successor and few have questioned his leadership or competence. Despite this, filling Jobs’ shoes will be a daunting task for anyone. The charismatic CEO has steered Apple from the grave back to the top since he returned to the helm and this was no small feat.

The exact reasons for his decision to take a leave are still unclear and Apple could shed more light on the issue during its upcoming quarterly results report.

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