June 25, 2009

Buffett says Jobs’ health is ‘material’

Apple Inc. leader Steve Jobs's liver transplant operation should have been deemed critical information for investors, U.S. billionaire Warren Buffett said.

Certainly Steve Jobs is important to Apple. Whether he is facing serious surgery or not is a material fact, Buffett said, The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

Jobs, a pancreatic cancer survivor, underwent a liver transplant in Tennessee on a medical leave of absence two months ago.

Apple said Jobs was suffering from a hormone imbalance, which the company later said was more complex, the Times reported.

Revelation that his life had been in danger brought mixed reactions.

His health is a matter of private information, which the board (of Apple) may be in possession of but has no affirmative obligation to disclose, said attorney G. William Speer in Atlanta.

The Securities and Exchange Commission declined to comment on the issue, the newspaper said.

But many contend that Jobs is so fundamental to the company's operations that important health issues should be divulged to the public.

Steve is Apple, said Danielle Levitas, an industry analyst at IDC.

The company was on the skids, and he came back to revive them. No doubt, if he were gone, it would be a different company.