September 20, 2017

Steve Jobs Right

January 28, 2011    Markets and CompaniesРаспечатать эту статью

Steve Jobs Right

In an email that Steve Jobs sent to employees, said little: Jobs wrote that goes on indefinite leave for health reasons, has promised to keep abreast of the strategic decisions of the company and someday return, and also asked to respect his privacy. Everything. Apple’s stock immediately collapsed to 5% until the end of the week and could not return to its previous level even compared to the fantastic quarterly report the company showed record revenues in its history, and net income.

Shareholders enough to know that Steve Jobs wants to return to the operational management as soon as possible – they want to look into his medical record and on this basis to make decisions. How sick Apple CEO this time? How serious it is, how it’s going to be treated, whether the probability is high that he did not return to the management company?

Problems of Jobs health have long been known, but information about them never differed immediacy and candor. In 2003 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but the diagnosis of shareholders learned only six months later – the day after a successful operation. A few years later it became known that defeat the disease initially tried Jobs with complicated diet. In 2009, history repeated itself: the head of Apple, said to be suffering from hormonal imbalance and it needs to go through a simple course of treatment, and then suddenly it became clear that the transplanted liver Jobs.

Shrouding the health of its CEO a veil of secrecy, Apple is in right field. Commission on the U.S. Securities and Exchange (SEC) requires companies to disclose to shareholders material information that may influence their decisions, but information about the health of top management such right does not apply. However, this week revived the debate in the U.S., which began two years ago, after surgery of Steve Jobs: silence if Apple and the letter of the law, does not this mean that the law is time to change?

Investors are accustomed to see a direct correlation between prosperity and the availability of Apple’s Steve Jobs in an armchair CEO. He controls every aspect of Apple, is the driving force behind the company. Jobs spent all important presentation and personally chose the chef for the cafeteria, his name is worth hundreds of patents for the company – from the box for the iPod to the design of stairs in the Apple Store in San Francisco.

Two years ago, in the midst of uncertainty with hospital Jobs completed as a liver transplant, worried investors, experts and journalists began to attack the SEC with a request that the issue of health CEO of Apple some clarity. And soon, Bloomberg reported citing an anonymous source that the Commission had begun an investigation to find out whether manipulating its shareholders, Apple, withholding important information. Many now urge SEC to reflect on recognition data on the health of top management as “essential» and require public companies to disclose them to its investors. Opinions, however, expressed very different.

Risks associated with hypertrophied significance of Jobs to Apple, already included in the price of the company, says former SEC head Arthur Levitt, who left office in 2001. “You have to be deaf, dumb or blind not to know about the problems of Jobs’ health – he said recently the agency Bloomberg. – Jobs takes the hospital and sends a message to the market, a wise investor is enough. I do not think that the Apple board of directors should be accountable for his disease more specifically. ”

But most experts think the opposite. “The right CEO to privacy outweighed the significance of this information to the market. If Apple wants the loyalty of thinking rather than emotional investment, it should tell you about the status of their CEO – that would be fair. Everyone wants to Jobs for a speedy recovery. But given that he leads the second-largest U.S. company, we need to know from what illness he has to get better, “- said the former vice-president of General Electric on the legal issues Ben Younger Hanimen. Calls for Jobs and Apple to tell the truth, and the SEC – to oblige them to do it, sounds from the pages of The New York Times and The Slate.
SEC’s dilemma is easy to understand. Force a person to tell the world his diagnosis and see how the markets are quoted duration of his life, is unethical. “But in some degree of top managers can be compared with high-ranking officials and athletes. When you occupy such a post and is responsible for such sums of money, you can not live a private life, like everybody else “, – said Alex Perryman, a professor of Texas School of Business. In the journal Business Horizons published its article on health CEO.

If the SEC decides to listen to public opinion, it would act as a pioneer: equity and corporate legislation of European countries do not provide a precedent. Might look like a new measure?

“If you are exporting coffee from Papua – New Guinea and you get information about what the next ten years, there is established atrocious weather and harvest coffee go bad, you must notify the shareholders. Jobs disease – a similar case, “- says CEO of British law firm Gololobov and Co. Russian advisors Dmitry Gololobov. But he believes that bind to report an accurate diagnosis is not: it violates human rights: “It is enough to reveal how severe the disease, as doctors evaluate the chances of cure, as well as call return possible – six months a year.”

“Probably should be required to disclose such information if a person combines several important functions. Like Jobs, who is also the founder and major shareholder, and has served as executive director “- the director of the Legal Consulting Group” ASPECT “and adviser prezdidenta” Business Russia “under the law of Alexander Molotnikov. Technical problems in adopting such legislative measures Molotnikov not see: it is possible to adopt a common law for all, or require the company to the relevant paragraph in the statute. The former Yukos lawyer Svetlana Bakhmina considered it inappropriate to publicly display an excerpt from a medical card, “can probably be grouped according to their degree of disease risk and require CEO just tell the group number.”

In the meantime, some companies disclose such information on their own initiative, for example, McDonalds in 2004, after learning of his terminal illness CEO Charlie Bell, immediately issued a press release.

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