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BW: Responsible Discussion of Steve Jobs' Health in Order

BW: Responsible Discussion of Steve Jobs' Health in Order

by , 4:00 PM EDT, July 22nd, 2008

A proven and well informed source has said that Mr. Jobs' cancer has not returned, according to Arik Hesseldahl at BusinessWeek. Unfortunately, many of the recent discussions about Mr. Jobs' health are idle, speculative, and uninformed.

"When questions were raised about his appearance at WWDC, spokeswoman Katie Cotton said he had been suffering from a 'common bug,' and I'm willing to take that at face value," Mr. Hesseldahl wrote.

Nevertheless, that hasn't stop some reporters from engaging in fear, uncertainty and doubt. Amidst all the idle speculation, sight seems to have been lost of the responsibility the Apple Board of Directors and the CEO himself have to assess pertinent information about the CEO's health.

"Once this conversation has taken place -- behind closed doors -- the board can and should say two things: First, that it has discussed health matters with the CEO; And second, presuming that this is the case, that it has no concerns about his ability to carry out his duties. That's it," Mr. Hesseldahl wrote.

These statements can be provided, if appropriate, in the SEC filings.

"In the event that Steve's answer is that there is a concern, it would fall to the board to weigh the situation and to determine what if anything should be disclosed, based on its potential for a material effect...

"If, for example, Jobs were to face being laid up for a month, that might reach the level of being material. A bad cold coupled with a loss of appetite, a few sick days, and the loss of a few pounds? Probably not material, and not worth getting worked up about," Mr. Hesseldahl concluded.

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