Apple too quiet on Jobs

Still no official word from Apple on whether CEO Steve Jobs did indeed have a liver transplant - and corporate governance types are rightfully calling foul. The company has been practically silent about Jobs' condition for months - despite ongoing speculation that the chief executive was seriously ill. The WSJ first reported about the liver transplant over the weekend. From Bloomberg:

While Apple's directors don't need to give updates on Jobs's health while he is on leave, that could change if he comes back as CEO, said Charles Elson, director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware. "In the interests of transparency, I think it would be necessary for them to disclose something as serious as a liver transplant," Elson said. "Investors want to know if he's healthy and if he can continue to run the company." Apple's board sought legal advice on how the company should deal with disclosures about Jobs's health, according to people familiar with the matter. While Apple and its board may not have been obligated to give more details on Jobs's health, some corporate governance experts say both could have been more transparent.

Bill Wyman at Hittsville wasn't too thrilled about the way the Journal handled the story:

I suspect that this was a one-source story. The usual formulation would be to make the attribution as vague as possible: "... sources familiar with the matter said." (The use of the plural in that phrase is one of the biggest lies in journalism.) So it could be that the Journal decided rather than broadcast how flimsy their sourcing was they'd just go with a pronouncement from on high.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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