Steve Jobs'puts the spotlight back on the other members of Apple's executive ranks, in particular Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, financial chief Peter Oppenheimer, and marketing chief Phil Schiller.
A one-time Compaq executive, Cook has run much of Apple's operations for some time. He also was the man tapped by the board when Jobs previously went on leave for cancer treatment.
Much of Cook's career has been spent handling manufacturing and procurement duties, although he took over responsibility for sales at Apple, beforein 2005. In addition to his work at Compaq, Cook also spent 12 years at IBM, where he ran manufacturing and operations for a large chunk of Big Blue's PC business.
A longtime Apple finance guy, Oppenheimer started with Apple in 1996 serving as controller for the Americas and, eventually, as the company's overall controller, before taking over as chief financial officer upon the retirement of Fred Anderson.
Prior to Apple, Oppenheimer was a divisional CFO at Automatic Data Processing (ADP).
Schiller has long served as Jobs' right-hand man when it comes to pitching Apple products to the public. A frequent guest in Jobs' keynote speeches, Schiller has also given some solo talks, most recently at this year's Macworld.
An avid sports fan, he coached an Apple hockey team that took on a team from Sun Microsystems, among other rivals. In addition to his work at Apple, Schiller served as a VP of product marketing for Macromedia.
While these three will be most visible during Jobs absence, others also play key roles. Design guru Jonathan Ive is known as Apple's strongest creative voice outside of Jobs, while former Target executive Ron Johnson is responsible for Apple's booming network of retail stores.
On the software front, chief software architect, Avie Tevanian, is no longer there, but several other software execs remain, including software engineering head Bertrand Serlet and applications chief, Sina Tamaddon.