SEC Investigating Jobs Health Disclosures

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It's no secret that Apple CEO Steve Jobs took a six-month leave of absence for health reasons, but the Securities and Exchange Commission doesn't seem convinced the company was completely open when it discussed his health conditions. The U.S. government agency is apparently focusing on an investigation on Apple's change in stance over Mr. Jobs's condition from "simple" to "complex" in little over a week, according to Bloomberg.
On January 5 Apple claimed Mr. Jobs was suffering from a hormone imbalance, but on January 14 that changed to a six-month leave of absence. In a letter to employees, Mr. Jobs said "during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought."
In June, word surfaced that Mr. Jobs had in fact undergone a liver transplant and a few days later the Tennessee hospital that performed the operation confirmed the rumor.
Now the SEC wants to know whether or not Apple executives were aware that Mr. Jobs's health was worse than they revealed on January 5.
Securities law professor at the University of California, Robert Hillman, said "The issue here is: Did Apple or Jobs make misleading disclosures, tested by what they knew at the time? A disclosure could be misleading if it's a partial truth."
Peter Henning, a former federal prosecutor and SEC lawyer teaching at Wayne State University Law School, added "If it's an outright lie and he had a diagnosis before that first disclosure that, 'You're going to need a liver transplant,' then there's an issue. But I doubt the company out and out lied."
The investigation may be little more than a routine check to make sure Apple is operating on the up-and-up, or the SEC may have information indicating that Apple or Mr. Jobs intentionally misled investors with his health claims. Since the SEC and Apple are keeping tight-lipped, it's likely no one will know what spurred the scrutiny until the investigation is complete.

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Lee Dronick

Is there an SEC requirement that CEOs and board members are required to disclose such information?


“Americas top securities regulator is understood to be investigating Apples recent disclosures about the health of Steve Jobs, its chief executive,” UK daily The Times said in a report published online. According to the report, the SEC is “thought to be responding to pressure from investors infuriated by the technology groups surprise about-face on the seriousness of the illness affecting Jobs”.

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Thank you.Great post.

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It?s quite possible that the man himself didn?t know the issue. Many times doctors misdiagnose or can?t make one at all. Even if it was a knowingly misleading statement, there should be a right to privacy regarding these issues.

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