Comments on: Are a CEO’s health problems a private matter? Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: Parlortrick Fri, 04 Sep 2009 04:17:51 +0000 Let’s get one thing straight. Apple is a “publicly traded” private company. Just because they publicly trade, does not mean that they have to divulge the results of a cardiogram of the CEO. The SEC currently has no rules requiring disclosure of health status for any corporate officers of a publicly traded company. Anybody knows that one wrong comment made by a company executive can cause the stock value to drop. That is because of how people interpret the comment. People are to damn sensitive and panic at the hint of trouble. Look at how everyone reacted to the World Trade Center terror attack. As soon as news hit the public, people were lining up at the gas stations and buying everything off of the grocery store shelves as if we were encountering an Armegedon. Sheesh!!!

By: Niall Sat, 24 Jan 2009 05:27:46 +0000 The argument in this piece is that if a company publicly ties its welfare to the strengths of one person, then the health of that person is of material interest to shareholders.

I disagree. I’m certain that shareholders would be interested to know everything about a CEO’s health but I don’t believe that something being of interest necessarily equates to that something being obligatory to reveal.

The fact that something impacts on a CEO’s performance does not automatically make it something that shareholders have a right to know.

If we used “does it effect their performance?” as the litmus test for what a shareholder has a right to know, then where do we draw the line?

* The CEO’s diet? “My CEO needs to cut back on red meat and eat more greens.”
* Their exercise regimen? “The CEO’s only benching 40kilos and only walks 2km twice a week. We need a new exercise program”
* The state of their marriage? You could make an argument that emotionally fulfilled and happy people make better workers – I want my CEO to be a better worker therefore I want him to be happy in his marriage.

All of these factors, and many more, effect performance but they are not of material interest to shareholders.
I think private lives – family, marriage, relationships, health – are private.

Transparency cannot trump personal privacy simply because a person is in more influential position.

By: Hello Fri, 23 Jan 2009 18:44:22 +0000 Absolutely not. The CEO’s rights to privacy trump the shareholders’ rights’ to knowledge of his medical history. Were a law to be proposed, requiring CEOs to disclose the results of well care doctors visits to the public in the interests of the company’s shareholders, it would be considered to be outrageous. From that point onwards, it becomes difficult to draw the line of privacy and public knowledge. There is scarce a safe ledge upon this slippery slope.

By: Jessica Mon, 19 Jan 2009 16:29:34 +0000 I believe that it is necessary for the CEO of the company to disclose any health issues that require him to take time off of work, just like any other employee. If it’s longer than three days, a doctor note should be required just like any other employee. If I can’t leave work for 4 days because I have the flu without reporting it to my boss along with a doctor note, why should he be allowed to do it simply because he’s Steve Jobs? Is Steve Jobs more valuable than me? He’s certainly richer, but does that mean he’s more important and thus subject to less rules? When my mother had breast cancer she had to bring all kinds of notes and proof just so she wouldn’t lose her job. Her boss had almost as much information on her condition as she did, so why should Jobs get away with just saying “I don’t feel good, I’m going home for 6 months”? The rules should be the same whether you’re the aforementioned factory line worker or the CEO. I am tired of people getting more everything including privacy because they can buy it. Why should Steve Jobs condition be any more private than any other citizen who has a job? I pay my medical fees like he does so why should my boss be more privy to my medical records than Steve Jobs boss? What happened to transparancy? I don’t care if he leaves because he wants his life to be more private. The rules are the rules and Steve Jobs or no steve jobs, you have to follow them.

By: Paul Weber Mon, 19 Jan 2009 16:17:24 +0000 I echo the “best” comment. If and when your due diligence process in a company establishes that one figure is strategic to the long term prosperity / survival of the company it is just natural to need to know what is happening with the most “core” part of the investment.
Especially when the CEO’s qualities represent the biggest portion of that core.

By: Tomas Racek Mon, 19 Jan 2009 15:25:14 +0000 Apple has developed in something more as “just” a company. It is cult!!! To own the newest Apple device is not only question of technology progress, it is the question of fashion or good style. Steve Jobs impersonate Apple, its success and good style. It is only logical, that his health problems awake huge public disscusion and worry. Since shareholders and investors believe, that Steve had and have major influence on Apple’s success, it is logical, that they are concerned (you could see it on the stock market). So back to the question. Are health problems of Steve Jobs private matter? The answer is no, at least since he is the CEO of Apple! I can only wish him soon recovery.

By: GobarKing Mon, 19 Jan 2009 12:12:37 +0000 Hey ! Stevey’s ill ! it is his personal matter and ya baby there is absolutely no need for the CEO to disclose his ailments to the investors – Take this from a CFA.
Letz say Stevy is seriously ill (God forbid), he is not able to walk, weak and frail – so what, he can still come up with amazing products you do not have to run around and display Arny muscles to invent an Ipod. Imagine a ill Stevy on a acutated wheel chair giving a presentation at the Macconference !!! I am absolutely sure all of you will agree that the enigmatism and charisma will be no less that it has been !.Steve created Apple – itz his child, he loves it more than any thing in the world, no matter what ailment or suffering … deep down we all know there is no one like steve or ” His ” Apple. On a ending note…who is perfect, look into yourself, the guy has some flaws…forget them…look at the good he’s done.

By: Hari Mon, 19 Jan 2009 09:21:09 +0000 The role the employee in the organization and the seriousness of the ailment are two vital things that needs to be addressed before deciding if the health condition needs to be disclosed or not. In case of Apple, consdiering these two factors, since revealing the news makes difference in the market, it has to be.

By: Robbie Mon, 19 Jan 2009 01:31:34 +0000 Disclosure based on salary? What an ethical joke. In order for any ethical claim to be valid,it has to be universal. So a CEO does in fact have the same rights as a factory worker and anything less is pure claptrap.

If we value privacy in our society,medical or otherwise, then few exceptions, if any, should be acceptable. So this entire public and private argument is a junk argument along with the salary distinction.

Many jobs require a pre-employment screening and now we are asking that medical conditions be disclosed for the basis of stakeholder/shareholder rights? What about the rights of Mr. Jobs? Are we to run roughshod over every individual liberty on the basis of money?

Let Mr. Jobs take his medical leave without the prying eyes of the public. His medical problems are his burden, and not some day traders.

By: Doctorzen Mon, 19 Jan 2009 01:26:44 +0000 Bob is correct. Today’s public corporation CEO and other top execs are part of the product or service package offered by the company. Anything that effects the viability of the company is relevant.