GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced in a memo Monday morning that he will be taking time away from the company for health reasons.
Reaction to Jobs’ medical leave has already resulted in a 3.3 percent drop in Apple stock in the U.S. market this morning, according to The Associated Press. Apple and Jobs provided no further details about his condition, leading to wide speculation in the media about Jobs’ health and how it will affect Apple. It also calls attention to a gray area in securities and corporate law: What does a company and its officers have to disclose to investors about a CEO’s health condition or other significant private matters that may affect the company?
“Under current securities law, it is unclear if Apple has a legal obligation to disclose any additional details about Jobs’ health condition,” said University of Florida Levin College of Law Assistant Professor Tom C.W. Lin. “There is no definitive legal guidance on the disclosure of potentially material, private matters like serious illness with disclosure practices varying from company to company.”
Lin, an expert on securities regulation and corporations, previously studied the issues surrounding Steve’s Jobs’ 2008 medical leave from Apple in the article, “ Undressing the CEO: Disclosing Private, Material Matters of Public Company,” which was published in the University of Pennsylvania’s Journal of Business Law.
Lin is available to discuss the legal issues and questions that have arisen from Jobs’ announcement.
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