updated 09:50 am EDT, Wed July 8, 2009
SEC Jobs probe continues
The Securities and Exchange Commission is continuing with a probe into Steve Jobs' health, Bloomberg sources say. Investigators have been concerned that the company did not properly disclose its CEO's medical condition, which could have and arguably has had an impact on investors. Much of the company's direction is said to be attributable to Jobs, who also serves as the center of intense media focus.
The central issue is said to be the discrepancy between the January 5th disclosure of a "hormonal imbalance," already in treatment, and a January 14th announcement that Jobs would be taking a six-month leave of absence. Compounding confusion has been the June revelation of a liver transplant, which has never been officially acknowledged by Apple and could potentially signify that Jobs' health was far worse than originally stated. If Apple deliberately mislead investors it could face serious repercussions, say lawyers.
A former SEC enforcement attorney, Jahan Raissi, notes that Apple has already put itself in a precarious position. "Once you open your mouth and start to speak on a topic, you have to say something completely truthful," he comments. If the company knowingly withheld or distorted any information that could be material to investors, assertions of Jobs' right to privacy could become irrelevant.