Apple CEO Steve Jobs Takes Medical Leave
Professor Joseph A. Grundfest is quoted in a Los Angeles Times story about Steve Jobs' medical leave and questions it raises about succession and possible legal action because Jobs might not have fully disclosed the details of his illness. The LA Times writes:
The decision by Apple Inc. boss Steve Jobs to take a medical leave after learning that his health issues were "more complex" than originally thought renews questions about the succession plan of a company whose fate has been closely linked to its charismatic leader.
On Wednesday, only a week after assuring investors that he felt fit to lead the Silicon Valley giant, Jobs wrote in an e-mail to employees that he would pass day-to-day management duties to Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, until the end of June.
Though he declined to discuss Apple specifically, a Securities and Exchange Commission spokesman said there was no explicit requirement that companies disclose their executives' health problems. "But if a health issue is material, the company could have a disclosure obligation," John Nester said.
There is no established legal precedent for the issue. "You can start a healthy debate among securities law practitioners on the topic of disclosure related to CEO health," Stanford University law professor Joe Grundfest said.