<< by on August 6th, 2008
As one of the billions (I’m sure it’s billions now, right?) of people who rely on an Apple product every day, it was a bummer to hear that Steve Jobs may be sick again. I haven’t really followed the health of any CEO (except my own here at Search Mojo, and it’s because I really do care). It really is a big deal when the head honcho isn’t feeling well.
I was really quite unaware that he had been fighting cancer at all but according to Newsweek , it was four years ago that Apple made it known that Jobs had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer (Patrick Swayze is fighting it right now as well) is fatal but Jobs was supposed to be the treatable form, according to him.
After a conference in June, it’s been reported that Jobs looked emaciated. It has since been dismissed by Apple as a “common bug.”
Matthew Ingram over at Seeking Alpha says that Jobs’ form of cancer ( neuroendocrine tumor) is more rare and is often curable through surgery. Cancer stinks, no matter what. Let’s be real. Curable or not, once you’ve had it, it can come back. Cancer doesn’t care who you are or what you’ve accomplished.
I think it’s important to note that Steve Jobs has played a key role in how far Apple has come. I would’ve never considered owning an Apple product prior to the birth of the iPod and actually resisted making the leap until I received an iPod for Christmas from a more than generous best buddy of mine.
So while it may seem morbid to even be discussing Jobs’ health, I think his position in the industry and in his company (as with any major CEO of a publicly traded company) warrants the attention (to be kept at a respectable level of course). As the CEO of Apple, you’re only awarded so much privacy when so many others are affected. That being said, it’s with genuine concern that I write this and hope that his cancer still is in the treatable form.
Indeed, it’s possible this media-driven health scare may prove to be a false positive. The New York Times reported last week that Jobs has told friends his weight loss is due to surgery to correct digestive problems, not a cancer recurrence. Another encouraging data point: Apple has smart lawyers who probably wouldn’t let its press team suggest the CEO has the flu if he’s really facing a serious illness—an “affirmative misrepresentation” that could open them to a class-action lawsuit if it turns out to be false, says Columbia Law professor John Coffee. Daniel McGinn/Newsweek
Jobs is considered the face (and brain) behind all the awesome gadgets and it’s tough to even consider the company without his guidance. It’s also true that every company has someone who gets more credit than the underlings for all the great things that happen. Let’s not forget, that same person also takes the hits when things don’t go right. So because of his value to the company, when the news hit that he might be ill again in addition to Apple’s CFO stating that his health is “a private matter,” the stock took a hit.
Apple is viewed as a particularly secretive company; when Jobs was diagnosed with cancer in 2003, it waited nine months before going public. The Wall Street Journal has reported that hedge funds have hired private investigators to tail Jobs in an attempt to see how frequently he’s visiting doctors.Daniel McGinn/Newsweek
Wow! Now that’s going a little far. I do think that he deserves SOME sort of privacy. Sure, his health affects many many people, but let the man go to the doctor in private.
It remains to be seen what’s going on with Jobs’ health. He did look gaunt but he says it’s not because of cancer. Until further notice, let’s believe him and trust that he will do the right thing. After all, he doesn’t want anything bad to happen to Apple either. It’s his baby. He’ll make sure everything is in order and I’m positive he’s surrounded himself with only the best talent. Apple will be OK. So stop tailing the man…