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Breaking with consensus, Bloomberg's Matthew Lynn thinks investors have no right to pry into...

Jul. 14, 2009 1:33 PM ETBy: Eli Hoffmann, SA News Editor7 Comments
Breaking with consensus, Bloomberg's Matthew Lynn thinks investors have no right to pry into Steve Jobs' health, or that of any CEO. "There are all sorts of things that can go wrong with a company. Shareholders can't be protected from every type of risk."

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Comments (7)

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Gee, can we see his cat scans get his doctors' diagnoses? Maybe we can get all his doctors to testify to Bloomberg. Sorry folks, Steve Jobs' health is not a reality tv show.

Your medical problems are none of my business and neither is Steve Jobs'. People didn't know his medical condition was serious? Clue: when a workaholic like Jobs takes a 6 month leave of absence for medical reasons, it's serious. Oh, did I forget? He was previously cured of pancreatic cancer. What his condition is is his business to reveal or not. If anyone was unaware that it was potentially serious they weren't paying attention. And this is a basis for investigation and possible shareholder lawsuits?! Get real.

Regarding disclosure, don't you watch House? Things aren't always easy to figure out, nor their seriousness, nor their progression. Trust him and his doctors to reveal what is pertinent if anything. P.S. He owns more Apple stock than potential litigants do.
herbert hoover profile picture
"There are all sorts of things that can go wrong with a company. Shareholders can't be protected from every type of risk."

Unless you are a bank or AIG
Vox Rationalis profile picture
This whole "right to privacy" argument seems specious; when a person becomes an officer of a corporation, he is taking a public position and is forfeiting certain aspects of his right to privacy. For example, his transactions in company stock must be disclosed.

Information about events or circumstances that will impact his ability to continue to fulfill the duties of the office he holds clearly is material to the company's owners and prospective owners. Were the officer to resign the post, such information would no longer be material.
Tschurin profile picture
1] the shareholders are the owners of the company
2] It is constantly being reported that Steve Jobs is the sine qua non of Apple's success; therefore his health is of greater than usual importance
3] it is well known that directors, who theoretically might represent shareholder interests in this matter, are too often controlled by a CEO [note that Apple's board has no single "Chairman"]. Note that the board apparently did a poor job representing shareholder interests regarding the backdating of options by Apple executives.
4] Thus people with a legitimate legal interest in a matter of importance regarding their investments and who may not be otherwise effectively represented do have a "right" to know about Job's health.
HelixInvest profile picture
I agree that CEOs should expect some degree of privacy related to their medical histories but that is not the issue with Apple and Mr. Jobs. The issue with Apple is whether the company made misleading disclosures regarding Mr. Jobs' health. If the company made no disclosure or full disclosure there most likely would not be any investigation.

Source: www.bloomberg.com/apps...
I support this outlook on Steve Jobs' and for that matter any other CEO. Companies like Apple have a business continuity plan and feel as an investor I understand the risk that leadership can impact a company. It is up to an investor to know the strength of those in line to lead.
E Thomas St. profile picture
Do health insurers have the right to pry into genetic predispositions to certain diseases?
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