Apple's well; Jobs? Unsure

On Monday, Steve Jobs made his first public statement since going on medical leave in January. But…

Georgia (Jun 30, 2009)On Monday, Steve Jobs made his first public statement since going on medical leave in January. But it wasn't about his health. "Customers are voting, and the iPhone is winning," the Apple Inc. co-founder and chief executive said in a news release touting strong sales of the iPhone 3G S, launched Friday.The company wasn't talking about Jobs' health, either, refusing to confirm or deny a report in The Wall Street Journal that Jobs received a liver transplant two months ago. The company's response isn't enough for some corporate governance experts. They say the importance of Jobs to Apple's identity places greater responsibility on the company to inform investors about his condition, even if securities regulations don't require updates on executives' health … n the case of Apple, the mystique around Jobs and the company's products has invited more scrutiny from shareholders than other companies likely would face, said Paul Lapides, director of the Corporate Governance Center at Kennesaw State University. "Apple probably has more focus on it because Steve Jobs is an iconic figure, almost a messianic figure in the technology field," Lapides said. "There's a tremendous amount of interest. He also happens to be a charismatic leader. So the market still listens to him." Lapides said he believes Apple has done "a fine job" in its level of disclosure. "While a lot of investors would love to have their own team of doctors examining him … you just don't have that much leeway," he said.


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