I have a confession to make. I didn’t buy Apple when it was $34 a share (as an art director told me to), nor did I buy it when it was $64 a share (as he reminded me to). As such, I failed to sell when it reached almost $200 a share. It seems, in that, I am not alone. What else could explain the feeding frenzy over his still able body since he failed to deliver the Macworld keynote address this year?
I am the first to admit that, had I been more financially invested in Apple, I might be more emotionally invested in the $5.5 billion in shareholder value that disappeared since the announcement of his leave of absence and the subsequent $10 billion that vanished with his decision to take an extended medical leave of absence until June. I might even be sympathetic towards a class action lawsuit for non-disclosure of his condition if, in fact, he was proven to qualify as a “public figure”. But despite that, and as naive as it may sound, can we not spare a thought for the man himself?
It seems necessary to remind the more rabid shareholders that pancreatic cancer and protein deficiencies have little regard for the stock market, their financial fortunes or Steve Jobs’s lust for life. That long before Apple Inc. become an icon and its CEO became an idea, Steve Jobs was a gifted, charismatic and inspiring young leader who, ever since 1983 and that commercial, has incited industry-wide revolution. And that Steve Jobs, at the relatively young age of 54, is a proud father of four children who love him dearly.
I am not saying that any company should be absolved of its responsibilities of disclosure, especially when its Chairman is as vital to its well-being as Steve Jobs is to Apple. But let’s temper the comparisons between his thinness and the iPhone and the devilish plots of “revenge”, with some measure of the consideration and admiration we afforded him in “good” times. A leader with his intellect, vision and charisma is rare indeed and he is seriously ill. We wish you well and a full recovery, Steve, (even without any Apple stock).
Reading Time: 1 minutesSimon Mainwaring is the founder of We First, a leading brand consultancy that provides purpose-driven strategy, content, and training that empowers companies to lead business, shape culture, and better our world.