Thursday, February 26, 2009

Have a Seat in These Big Leather Chairs Guys

"Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc.’s directors, after taking a back-seat role for years to Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs, were forced to respond to investors yesterday as they pushed for an update on Jobs’s health."

It's not too difficult to see the irony here. Apple's founder and CEO is on sick leave. For months he chose to keep the real extent of his health issues to himself, or at least minimize it. Maybe he didn't know the details. Maybe he determined that it was nobody's business.

Now the SEC is investigating whether investors were misled. Investors are up in arms that the disclosure wasn't better. This is preposterous.

Yahoo's Board allowed management to talk them into turning down a fantastically generous Microsoft offer, to the severe detriment of shareholders. Was the Board castigated? No. Countless bank boards have paid execs tens of millions while said executives were taking risks that nobody understood. Nobody cared. Execs at dozens of companies backdated options in transactions that should have been totally transparent, and every board involved was asleep at the switch.

Countless bad, careless, clueless boards have not had their feet held to the fire - they get a free pass time after time. Apple has been innovating and executing. The SEC should leave them alone and investors should sell the stock if they don't like it.

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