Joe Nocera slammed the Apple board, saying the company has disregarded its fiduciary responsibility and “it’s pathetic,” and Henry Blodget says the board’s credibility has evaporated.
After much speculation, CEO Steve Jobs announced that he was taking a leave of absence because of health issues. Jobs underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004, and Apple wasn’t forthcoming about his condition then either.
Nocera, who interviewed Jobs last year, said the CEO wasn’t completely honest with him then. But he understood that. The situation must be a very difficult for Jobs, the New York Times business columnist said.
“The real crime here is not being committed by Steve Jobs,” Nocera said. “The real crime is being committed by the board which is supposed to be overseeing the company.” He said the board has ignored it’s responsibility to investors, and every time the Apple CEO wants something, they “roll over. It’s pathetic.”
Blodget says, “At best, Apple’s board has failed to be forthright about its chief executive’s declining health for at least six months and probably longer. At worst, it has been lying to the market and Apple’s customers for the better part of a year.”
Nocera said he talked to many doctors after talking with Jobs last year, and they said it was a major operation and mostly likely would lead to complications later.
Jobs made himself the face of Apple, and has profited handsomely of it. The stock price rises and falls on the myth created around Jobs, Nocera said. He added that Apple is renowned for its public relations expertise in rolling out products. “You would think that they would have enough sense to handle this in a similar way,” he said. “But they don’t.”
But others say Apple investors are “too easily frightened to actually own the stock.”
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