Following all the hoopla there was about Jobs not attending Macworld, we’re sure the shareholders and pundits will have a field day with this piece of news. The Apple CEO is not expected the company’s annual shareholder meeting scheduled for this week.
Bloomberg reports that Jobs’ absence from the meeting (which will mark the first time in nearly a decade that he hasn’t been at a shareholder meeting) is likely to highlight the importance of having a succession plan in place for the CEO. That said, we think it’s way more likely Apple is trying to prove to the shareholders that “life goes on” despite the fact that Jobs is taking a break for a while.
When Jobs announced he would not be at Macworld 2009 in January, a lot of people clung to the hope that there might be a surprise keynote from the CEO. Once Macworld ended (Jobsless, of course), focus shifted to the fuss over a possible SEC probe regarding the press releases about Steve Jobs health and whether or not Apple purposely kept Steve’s health under wraps in order to control share prices.
The CEO reported a healthy blood pressure during last October’s MacBook event. Then on January 5, Steve posted a letter on the Apple website stating that he had a hormonal imbalance that was affecting his health, but it was a minor problem that would be easily remedied. Just nine days later on January 14, a new letter from the Apple CEO revealed that his health issues were far more serious than anticipated and that he would have to take a temporary leave (six months) from the company.
While companies are not required to report to the SEC (or anyone, for that matter) on the health of its employees, as those are private matters, the affect of rumors on Apple’s stock price was enough to raise suspicion as to whether or not the company somehow benefited from the obvious jumps and dips.
We maintain that Steve's absence is more a case of Apple saying they can play house while Daddy is away in order to put shareholders' minds at ease and are hopeful that Jobs will return in June (six months after he announced his temporary leave) for the launch of the new iPhone.