Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Steve Jobs: Does Being a CEO Terminate Your Medical Privacy Rights???

So, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Inc., is taking another leave of absence. Last year, he left while undergoing a liver transplant (though that wasn't disclosed until after he returned to work) and this time it remains undisclosed, though speculation is that he has cancer. Above, you'll find two pictures of Mr. Jobs, the larger one was taken prior to his first medical leave and the second is a more recent photograph. Yes, he's lost weight.

Apple stock has suffered in the wake of this recent announcement, Mr. Jobs has led the company in its recent technological triumphs, including the introduction of the i-lines (ipod, iphone, ipad, etc.) which have had a huge impact on technology and quite frankly our culture at-large. Valley Wag, a Gawker technology publication, among others has called for Apple to "end their code of silence" as regards Jobs' health. His health and the health of Apple, that line of reasoning contends, is intertwined and must be shared, for the sake of share-holders and Apple-dependent techies. It is true that succession is not clear at Apple Inc.--at least to the outside observer--but just because Mr. Jobs is a CEO, does that make his medical privacy rights less-than yours or mine? If he were the President of the United States, perhaps yes, but Mr. Jobs is a private citizen and his medical history and current medical condition is his concern, his families' concern and under his doctors' care. But, I'd like to point out that he has enjoyed certain other rights, not afforded other plebes--he has taken more than six months off. Under the Family Medical Leave Act, you can take 12-weeks, unpaid for your health crisis or your family members (that's good), but it isn't nearly as indulgent as Mr. Jobs' leave-time has been. Half of all bankruptcies in this nation are due to medical expenses and much of that is due to inadequate health-insurance, but when your illness leaves you too sick to work and unpaid leave is all your must be granted legally, millions of Americans suffer.

I wish Mr. Jobs well and I hope he recovers.

1 comment:

  1. Being a CEO/ president/leader limits some of your privacy rights if it affects your ability to lead. I personal think there are stages of disclosure. I believe the board of directors need to know if his illness affects his ability to give directions. Example dementia.

    Does disclosure need to be told to the New York times for the public to know? No that is overkill.

    But since this is his 3rd medical leave in 5 years I think some disclosure is needed. I also don't think he is taking unpaid medical leave either. Since it is reported that he has step down from day to day inpu, but not creative strategy input.