Apple, Inc.: Transparency in Corporate Statements About the CEO
On January 14, 2009, Apple Inc.’s Steve Jobs announced he was taking a six-month medical leave of absence, just nine days after he reassured the public that he would be continuing as CEO. The media and public feel misled, and investors are wary of Apple’s post-Jobs future. The issue for Apple is whether investors and the public are entitled to more information and, if so, how much?
- To illustrate how the lack of credibility in corporate communications can exacerbate the magnitude of a crisis;
- To provide one example of how difficult it is to extricate a company’s brand equity and image from a celebrity founder or leader;
- To demonstrate the immediate effects of corporate communication on company value – both positive and negative, intended and unintended – for the present and prospective future;
- To highlight the conflict that arises between a publicly held company’s obligation to disclosure and an individual’s right to privacy about their personal health;
- To encourage critical thinking and analysis of a business crisis with a heavy emphasis on communication strategy and ethical dilemmas.