Rarely have the fortunes of a firm seemed so inextricably linked to one man. When Apple Inc. chief executive Steve Jobs so much as sneezes, it seems shareholders get the jitters.
So, it’s no surprise that the blogosphere is abuzz with reports that he had a liver transplant earlier this year; when he opted for medical leave in January, the rumour mill was churning. Now, it seems, the mystery has been solved.
But is it any wonder that shareholders track Jobs’ coughs with such fervour? This visionary entrepreneur, in many ways, is one of Apple’s most prized assets, if he can be called that.
Which raises a larger question: In a world of shareholder reports, shouldn’t Apple stakeholders be privy to this seemingly personal information? While someone could surely take over the helm at Apple if something were to happen to Jobs, he has been indeed indispensable to the company—transforming an ailing computer firm in the early 1990s to a cross-platform behemoth.