Publicly traded or not, someone’s health issues or lack thereof is no one’s business except their own. What do we gain from pushing someone to reveal information about their health? Now, before you all get up in arms about Steve Jobs’ health and his ability to occupy the position of CEO at Apple, before you all lambaste me about Jobs being Apple, before I get hate mail about the direct correlation between Jobs and Apple stock prices, you all need to think long and hard about something.
Maybe, he doesn’t know anything yet. Maybe there is nothing to tell us. And maybe, just maybe, should there actually be something wrong, maybe he hasn’t fully come to terms with it himself yet. Who knows. It’s all speculation, and at this point it’s no one’s business but his own, his family’s, and anyone else he cares to share it with.
The fact that journalists keep pushing the issue makes me feel a little sick to my stomach. It’s disgusting.
In 2006, Bruce Wasserstein, CEO of Lazard LTD, heard the cry of people and journalists alike who all seemed to be concerned about his health. The New York post reported at that time that “rumors were swirling that Wasserstein had slimmed down significantly due to an unknown illness. While he has shed almost 50 pounds, sources said Wasserstein is in fine shape.” Two years later, he seems to have been telling the truth. Then, on the flip side, we have Frank Lanza, CEO of L-3 Communications Holdings (NYSE: LLL), who apparently had a bad case of acid reflux and ended up passing on two weeks later from esophagus cancer. So what are we to do? Health issues seem to be a bit of a crapshoot, don’t they? One day you’re healthy and the next you’re not. One day you think it’s acid reflux and in a couple days you find out you have cancer.
Isn’t the real issue here the lack of an obvious replacement candidate, an ambiguity about where our beloved Apple might be heading into the future once Steve Jobs decides to retire? Let’s face it, Apple’s a corporation. Do you think the major shareholders, the board of directors, and anyone else who has a say in the life of Apple is daft enough not to realize that one day, hopefully in the distant distant distant future, Mr. Jobs will decide to retire. It’s inevitable. There is nothing we can say or do about it. I highly doubt that they’ll allow that to happen. Everyone but George W. himself understands what an exit strategy is and that the failure to have one means imminent chaos.
Maybe his replacement is an idiot. Maybe Apple falls into peril and fails. Maybe Jobs is the only one capable of running Apple. Or…Maybe not.
It’s time to stop with the panic, and more importantly, stop with the harassing calls for disclosure of Jobs’ health issues. Apple’s legal team is top notch, just ask the Pystar guys right about now. They know what they are obligated to do. I’m no expert by any strech of the imagination, but I’m sure we’d be hearing a lot more noise on the newswire if Apple Inc. was doing anything unethical. Until that happens, I will be giving Steve Jobs the benefit of doubt, and the privacy that anyone one of us would want should we be stricken with an illness of any kind. Peace and Quiet.