Today, I was invited to appear on CNBC’s Power Lunch around 1:15pm to talk about the health of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, along with Portfolio.com managing editor Dan Colarusso.
Given that Jobs looked no more thin or gaunt today at the Apple music conference than he did this summer, and that he joked about his health (a slide flashed on the screen behind him saying “Reports of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated”), I think we can probably conclude that he’s doing fine, or at least he’s healthy enough to handle the job.
But still, without the company directly addressing the issue it’s impossible to know for sure. Execs have hidden serious illnesses before. In my segment I talk about how in 1995 Intel chief exec Andy Grove was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He told the board. But the company did not disclose the illness to the public at tha time. (Grove later revealed the cancer when he wrote about it the following year.) Grove now says that because the cancer never impaired his ability to do the job, there was no reason to inform shareholders.
I’m not sure everyone would agree with that, but it just proves the point that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the issue of disclosing health matters of corporate executives.