Incidentally, according to the software I wrote to warn if the quality of stories on the front page goes down, this is the lowest scoring story ever to get this high on the front page.
Or arm the top 100 users with a -1 button and let them offset the tendency to front page bad (or non) stories.
If you're a CEO who can be easily replaced, this isn't as big of a deal (i.e. making it public or not public isn't going to rock the boat too much either way). But to a great portion of the general public, Steve Jobs and Apple are the same thing. He's largely credited with single-handedly bringing them back from the brink. If Jobs announced today that he was quitting Apple, the stock would almost surely tank. He's the CEO of a public company, and if his personal health has a signification effect on stock price, I think he has an obligation to disclose that. Billions of dollars are at stake to shareholders, and they have the right to make decisions with all the information that controls the price of that stock.
If you're a politician, you know your lifestyle is under the microscope and your morals and ethics are always in question. You know this going in. If you're a CEO of a public company, you know that you can personally have a large impact on the stock price. You know this going in. It's unfortunate that personal issues can impact the stock, but if they do, I think it needs to be disclosed.
While I find the article itself off-putting, I can't help but think of the loss of trust in Jobs when he didn't disclose it the first time. I think it sucks that he is in a position that he needs to dislose it, and I can't imagine going through that publicly if I was in his shoes. But is it really that surprising for people to be worried and talking about this when they're going to assume that he won't disclose the information if he does get sick again? Probably not a very popular position, but if you had a couple million in Apple stock (hypothetical -- I don't), would you be okay with it losing half its value in one day because Jobs didn't disclose in advance as possible and let you decide over time whether to take a chance and hang on or to sell on your own terms?
Either way, I don't envy the position the guy is in. I hope it really is just something he can quickly get over.
The problem is that if he is not announcing when he has cancer, we're only going to hear about it if two things happen:
1. He knows he has beaten it.
2. He knows he cannot beat it.
He can also put a plan in place where he is grooming a successor that the public slowly becomes familiar with, and they can decide how comfortable they are with the replacement, letting the stock reflect that confidence accordingly.
By the way, what's with the "Answer that first. I doubt you can." comment? How about just asking a question letting me take a crack at answering it?
Imagine a politician was schizophrenic, wouldn't you want to know that before you voted for him?
There are laws about how much a publicly-traded company needs to disclose, and I'm pretty sure that the health of its CEO isn't on the list.
On the other hand, since it is kinda important to the future of the company and the industry, I can't see any point in making it a taboo topic for the rest of us to discuss.
It's pretty depressing, but you'd have all sorts of insider trading problems with only a few people knowing you're sick. The people who would know (nurses, doctors, etc) would probably be fairly under the radar as far as that's concerned too.
CEOs come and go so one should ideally be investing in the company, unfortunately that is not the case.
Is this multi-billion dollar company overly dependent on one individual?
If not, then his health is not an issue.
If so, then the real issue isn't his health.
The real issue is the backup/succession plan. I have seen 100 million dollar companies paralyzed by the heart attack of one individual. Apple stockholders do deserve to know that that can't happen here.
Apple is a company that is very clearly in need of an world class succession plan. It needs to be public and it needs to be endorsed by Steve himself while he is still seen as healthy and in control. Apple needs it more than most because of Steve's rock star status.
If Jobs has to step down before this is in place, I don't think Apple will do very well, both when it comes to stock value and product lines.
Holy shit! That can't happen! Maybe if I buy an iPhone it won't happen!
You do realize that, on the day Apple announces such a plan, there will be a massive panic sell and the stock price will crash.
Everyone will assume that the public announcement of such a plan is a signal that Jobs is eyeing the door -- the guy isn't obligated to run Apple for the rest of his life and he certainly doesn't need the money.
If I were Apple I would create a world-class succession plan, inform the chosen successors and the board, and then lock the plan in that vault where they've been keeping the iPhone 3G.
So the people who could replace Steve are all Steve-mitations who go through the same motions, but don't actually fulfill the same role, at least if you judge by the people who come out to help with the Stevenotes. Example: Scott Forstall is crap on stage. Why? He has that stiff "I don't get to decide what I say / I am actually a tape recorder reading from Apple marketing copy" aura.
It's exactly the same problem as in that article a while ago about why Disney stopped innovating: when Walt and all the geniuses were gone, all the people who could have replaced them were instead off in places where they actually had an opportunity to do their own thing.
Walt Disney died in 1964. Disney hardly stopped innovating then.
If I were an Apple shareholder I would be very concerned to ensure that a healthy Apple is not dependent on any one person, not even Steve Jobs.
I pray Jobs is OK, cancer is no joke :-(
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He's probably a lot healthier than a lot of CEOs, most of which are old and overweight (and therefore at a much higher risk for all kinds of health problems). No one is writing articles about them and how shareholders should be concerned.
From this photo, Steve Jobs sure looks healthy. Move on, nothing to see.
No its not. There is a manipulation technique here, the same kind of shit politicians pull, where if you are considering the question, the propagandist wins.