Steve Jobs may be back at work as Apple's CEO - part-time, at least - but his troubles aren't over. And this time, they're not health-related. A Wednesday report from Bloomberg cites the eternally loquacious "person familiar with the matter" as saying that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is proceeding with its …
It's a tricky one
On the one hand, he is inextricably linked with Apple to the point where his health has a direct impact on the share price. On the other, he's just a bloke and perfectly entitled to take time off to look after himself without answering a load of questions.
In this case, I'd probably suggest Apple ARE out of order but not because they didn't publish every detail of Jobs' health problems. Any public company that has become so completely reliable on one individual without an obvious line of succession is in breach of it's duty to it's shareholders. I'd say the shareholders themselves should see this as a wake-up call and should be asking the board where the backup plan is?
Of two minds on ths one.
I'm not fan of companies (or anyone, really) messing around with important data for purposes of lining their pockets unethically. At the same time, there is the matter of his medical information being private, which is required by another unelected bureaucratic entity. Having said that, I'll err on the side of the individual, and say that Jobs' right to privacy was respected, as it should have been, and that the SEC should instead go after people who really hurt the American taxpayer, like lawyers and civil servants.
I think it is straightforward
Although Apple are doing very well (share price wise in particular) and Lord Steve appears to be fit and well again it is fairly clear that Apple without Jobs would be nothing like as successful as Apple with Jobs.
Therefore you might well invest in Apple on the assumption that Jobs will only be gone (and presumably contactable) for a few months, but would you invest in Apple if you thought that Jobs was about to die?
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