“Decades ago, Jobs was a private citizen until teaming up in 1976 with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne to establish Apple Computer Inc. Since then, and especially in recent years—following his return to lead the company through the darkest period in its history—Jobs has become the face of Apple and a celebrity,” Bolaji Ojo writes for EE Times.
“Peter Oppenheimer seems to think otherwise. The Apple chief financial officer and senior vice president sought—during a conference call on the company’s latest quarterly results—to dismiss questions raised in the media about the health of his boss,” Ojo writes. “Jobs’ health, according to Oppenheimer, ‘is a private matter,’ adding ‘Steve loves Apple. He serves as the CEO at the pleasure of Apple’s board and has no plans to leave Apple.'”
Ojo writes, “Oppenheimer is wrong, and his comments indicate Apple’s management either isn’t willing to admit publicly how Jobs’ persona has merged into the company’s image or perhaps, fearing the impact of admitting the obvious, the executives would rather downplay very public fears of the impact on Apple if anything were to happen to Jobs.”
MacDailyNews Take: We don’t know what Oppenheimer thinks; he’s merely saying exactly what Jobs told him to say.
Ojo continues, “Jobs is no more a private individual than Mickey Mouse is just another stuffed animal. Jobs is a legend in the personal computing world, and increasingly in the consumer electronics market where he is credited with helping to drive much needed change in interactive wireless communications with the iPhone and in digital music with the iPod and iTunes. But the consequences of Jobs’ health extends way beyond his immediate family. For that reason alone, Jobs’ health is a matter of interest to all Apple stakeholders.”
MacDailyNews Take: There are a lot of things that Apple shareholders would like to know. That does not mean they have a right to be told.
Ojo lists six reasons why he believes that Steve Jobs’ health is not a private matter:
1. Speculation about Jobs’ health is hurting Apple’s stock price and can affect relationships with key suppliers and partners.
2. After returning in 1997, Jobs gave Apple a new lease on life following one of the most dismal periods in its history.
3. Apple’s lofty market valuation depends upon the perception that Jobs is the innovative spirit behind the company.
4. Apple has experienced huge revenue and profits growth under Jobs.
5. Apple is still vulnerable.
6. There’s no clear [successor] to Jobs in Apple’s current executive ranks.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: What does #2 (or some others in his list) have to do with why Jobs health is not a private matter? You don’t need “six reasons.” The argument boils down simply: Steve Jobs’ value to Apple either somehow eliminates his right to privacy regarding medical conditions or it doesn’t. Take your pick.