The hysteria over Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ health issues hasn’t let up. And now the company has the SEC on its case. According to a Bloomberg report, regulators have launched an inquiry to ensure investors haven’t been misled about Jobs’ true condition.
Apple shares rose after Jobs, once a cancer patient, made a rare public statement on January 5 explaining that his noticeable weight loss was down to a hormonal imbalance. But the stock went into decline nine days later when Jobs said he was taking a five-month leave because his medical problems were ‘more complex’.
Jobs said he had had the last word, and has since given Bloomberg reporters an earful for staying on the story. ‘Why don’t you guys leave me alone - why is this important?’ he told one.
Companies generally probably do have a lot of room to maneuver when it comes to disclosing CEO health, but Apple’s own selling of Jobs may give it less space. ‘The company has used him and made him a public figure to increase the value of Apple,’ explains John Dienhart, a professor of ethics at Seattle University, in the piece. ‘If you take the good from that, then you have to take the bad.’