Late Apple director was 'disgusted' Jobs didn't reveal health issues

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Recently deceased Apple Board of Directors member Jerry York told The Wall Street Journal last year that he wished he had resigned after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs didn't publicly disclose his health issues.



The Journal this week profiled Apple's board, following the passing of York last week, and the departure of Google's chief Eric Schmidt last year. The report noted that the loss of York "has left the company with fewer independent voices, putting it in conflict with its own board's rules and renewing concerns about the board's ability to oversee strong-willed Chairman and Chief Executive Steve Jobs."



York spoke with the paper last year, and allegedly said he was bothered by how Jobs handled his illness, and the CEO's lack of public disclosure on the matter. Though the report did not say that York's comments were off the record, the fact that they were not published until he passed away would suggest that to be the case.



"In an interview with The Wall Street Journal last year, Mr. York said he almost resigned when told of the seriousness of Mr. Jobs's illness," the report said. "Mr. York felt Mr. Jobs should have publicly disclosed his health problem three weeks earlier in a news release that announced his decision not to appear at the Macworld trade conference.



"Mr. York said the concealment 'disgusted' him, adding that the only reason he didn't quit at the time was because he wanted to avoid the uproar that would have occurred once he disclosed his reason. 'Frankly, I wish I had resigned then,' he said.



In January 2009, Jobs took a leave of absence from Apple due to health-related issues. The CEO has insisted that he considers his health to be a "private matter." He eventually returned to work in June after receiving a liver transplant. With Jobs at the helm, his company's board now has just six members -- among the smallest of any Fortune 500 company.



York died last week after the 71-year-old suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. He joined Apple's board in 1997.



Last August, Google's Schmidt resigned from Apple's board after both companies entered too many of each others' core businesses, particularly as the battle between the iPhone and Android mobile operating system continues to rage. The company has made no attempt to fill Schmidt's seat since his departure.



The Journal said that Jobs has kept "tight control and directors have rarely challenged him." It noted that members of the board are handpicked by Jobs and are loyal to him. The report said that investors have "long urged Apple's directors to be more independent of the company's powerful CEO."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 118
    Not knowing much about these types of business situations, was Jobs under any moral, ethical or legal obligation to disclose his personal health issues?
  • Reply 2 of 118
    Isn't this a little ironic? This guy just *died* and he never announced to the shareholders that he, an important board member, had failing health....
  • Reply 3 of 118
    Interesting article.



    I believe the President releases news about health scares soon after the event.



    Mr York was rightly upset by Mr Jobs' behavior IMO.



    With Mr Jobs at the end of his career, diversification not concentration of authority would be the road to take.
  • Reply 4 of 118
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,521member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jazzbo brown View Post


    Isn't this a little ironic? This guy just *died* and he never announced to the shareholders that he, an important board member, had failing health....



    A cerebral hemorrhage doesn't sound like something that he would have known about it. Then again, I'm not a doctor.
  • Reply 5 of 118
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    A cerebral hemorrhage is sudden. There's no way to predict that.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jazzbo brown View Post


    Isn't this a little ironic? This guy just *died* and he never announced to the shareholders that he, an important board member, had failing health....



  • Reply 6 of 118
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Hmmmm... this sounds awfully familiar to 1985.
  • Reply 7 of 118
    irelandireland Posts: 17,223member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jazzbo brown View Post


    Isn't this a little ironic? This guy just *died* and he never announced to the shareholders that he, an important board member, had failing health.



    He had a hemorrhage. And he's not the CEO.
  • Reply 8 of 118
    irelandireland Posts: 17,223member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    Hmmmm... this sounds awfully familiar to 1985.



    Yes but it's more obvious how important Steve is now and replacing his has proven to have failed before. He saved the company from oblivion. They know now they can't simply replace him.
  • Reply 9 of 118
    techstudtechstud Posts: 124member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jazzbo brown View Post


    Isn't this a little ironic? This guy just *died* and he never announced to the shareholders that he, an important board member, had failing health....



    How exactly would you know dying from a brain aneurysm that you had failing health?
  • Reply 10 of 118
    So investors want more independent board members that are not loyal to Jobs? Why? Is Jobs not making the company any money?



    OH WAIT, HE'S MAKING A S***TON OF IT!



    Who are these investors and where can we tie them to a tree?
  • Reply 11 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    Hmmmm... this sounds awfully familiar to 1985.



    Don't you mean 1984?
  • Reply 12 of 118
    irelandireland Posts: 17,223member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by joelesler View Post


    So investors want more independent board members that are not loyal to Jobs? Why? Is Jobs not making the company any money?



    OH WAIT, HE'S MAKING A S***TON OF IT!



    Who are these investors and where can we tie them to a tree?



    The point is if they are just puppets then there's no need for them. The point of having a board is to bring to the table different points of view and different types of expertise. Steve couldn't run Apple on his own, that's why you need lots of talent around you. You're comment makes you sound like assuming all these directors are a bunch of idiots because they are not Steve Jobs - I would hazard a guess they are not.
  • Reply 13 of 118
    So this guy says once he found out about the illness he didn't disclose it "because of the uproar it would cause." Isn't that the same reason Steve Jobs didn't disclose it?



    Either they are both guilty or neither are guilty.
  • Reply 14 of 118
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,737member
    Who cares.
  • Reply 15 of 118
    kstswekstswe Posts: 1member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jazzbo brown View Post


    Isn't this a little ironic? This guy just *died* and he never announced to the shareholders that he, an important board member, had failing health....



    I have to say that was one of the most stupid comments ever ...



    Please learn before comment ... always...



    Quote:

    Intracerebral bleeds are the second most common cause of stroke, accounting for 30?60% of hospital admissions for stroke



  • Reply 16 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ElmCityWeb View Post


    Not knowing much about these types of business situations, was Jobs under any moral, ethical or legal obligation to disclose his personal health issues?



    Good question. The only correct answer is: It is not clear under current law. The SEC offers no guidance either, and experts go both ways.
  • Reply 17 of 118
    minimoeminimoe Posts: 14member
    AppleInsider should say that the WSJ ALLEGES Mr. York said these things. Unless the WSJ publishes audio recordings to substantiate this, they have no credibility, in my opinion.
  • Reply 18 of 118
    Say what you will about Jerome York, but he was a very straightforward guy, and I think the world needs more directors like him. (I say this despite the fact that I personally believe Jobs' health issue was a personal matter, and that is part and parcel of the risk that shareholders bear when they buy into a company like Apple. Caveat emptor, as always).
  • Reply 19 of 118
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,847member
    As an Apple shareholder, I do want a board that brings a diversity of perspectives and experiences that can help apple's senior management make good decisions. But I also want people who are loyal to Steve Jobs. Why would I want people who are disloyal?



    Regarding health disclosures -- the key thing, I think, is that senior management and the board of directors be well informed of Jobs health situation AND that there be a transition plan ready in case Jobs dies. I think we have seen during Jobs absence that the senior management team at Apple is strong and fully capable of running the company. Steve Jobs is a special, one in a billion guy, who cannot be replaced. But Apple can still be a successful without him (there are plenty of companies that make decent profits that don't have Steve Jobs as their CEO). And so because of that, I don't mind him keeping his health issues relatively private.
  • Reply 20 of 118
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Dire shouts from the editors room....



    - IS THE GUYS LIFELESS BODY COLD YET?!!?



    - HAS THE WIDOW STOPPED BALLING HER EYES OUT??!?!



    - HAVE GRAVEDIGGERS COVERED THE CASKET?!?!



    - BY THE WAY, ANYONE SEEN MY DANCING SHOES?!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    York spoke with the paper last year, and allegedly said he was bothered by how Jobs handled his illness, and the CEO's lack of public disclosure on the matter. Though the report did not say that York's comments were off the record, the fact that they were not published until he passed away would suggest that to be the case.



    Scum of the earth... perhaps thats' a tad insulting to all the scum of the world... Perhaps I should find a better phrase to show my total disgust I have for the profession as a whole.
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