Steve Jobs Taking Medical Leave From Apple

1/17/2011 10:25 AM PST
Steve Jobs is leaving the helm of Apple to focus on his health -- but says he hopes "to be back as soon as [he] can."

The CEO sent a letter to Apple employees announcing his leave of absence. In the letter he says, "I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company."

The letter does not mention a specific medical condition -- but Jobs also took time off early in 2009 when he had liver transplant surgery.

When TMZ published this pic of him returning to the Apple campus in July, 2009 ... the company's stock shot up.