Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Steve Jobs' health: Where's that SEC probe?

July 8, 2009: 8:01 AM ET

Steve Jobs w/Macbook AirIt's been nearly six months since Bloomberg News, which had been leading the pack investigating the vagaries of Steve Jobs' health problems, reported that Apple (AAPL) was facing a "review" by Securities and Exchange Commission.

On Wednesday, team Bloomberg revisited the story and reported that Apple's disclosures about Jobs' health "remain under scrutiny" by the SEC.

But the 1,039 word piece, reported by Connie Guglielmo, David Scheer and Karen Gullo, offers no new information about the government probe, what it's after or what progress it has made.

The story quotes a former SEC lawyer, a former SEC enforcement attorney, a securities law professor, and the author of a paper on advocating CEO health disclosures.

The pivotal question, as the experts point out, is what happened in the nine days between Steve Jobs' Jan. 5 announcement that he had a "hormone imbalance" and his Jan. 14 statement that he was taking a five and a half month medical leave.

Connie Guglielmo led the Bloomberg team that reported in January that Jobs was considering a liver transplant. The fact that Jobs had the surgery -- and had been sick enough to go to the head of the transplant waiting list -- was not revealed until June 20, a few days before he returned from his medical leave.

Given that her sources had nothing new to say about the SEC review, it's not clear why Guglielmo chose to revisit the story today, less than two weeks before Apple is scheduled to release earnings for what analysts think will be a strong quarter.

There was one nugget of news in the piece, however. It had been widely reported that members of Apple's board were being briefed by Jobs' doctors on his condition. The Bloomberg story names them: Art Levinson, former CEO of Genentech, and Bill Campbell, the former CEO of Intuit.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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