It would not be surprising if long-time Apple
Though the "risk factors" section of the company's annual report had noted that "the Company’s success depends largely on the continued service and availability of key personnel … including its CEO," Apple left investors largely in the dark when Jobs' health began to falter. A Huffington Post article from just after Jobs' passing highlights the extent to which investors' knowledge of Jobs' condition was informed mainly by rumor and speculation for years.
That's hardly the only way for a company to handle an executive's illness, and communications-equipment company Tellabs
On Wednesday, investors did indeed get an update, by way of a letter from Tellabs chairman Michael Birck. He wrote that "Rob has been continuing treatment for cancer, and he recently had surgery. He remains in the hospital in stable condition and is under continuing care for his recovery." He also added that executive vice president Dan Kelly would be stepping in during Pullen's absence.
This isn't a totally unheard-of approach to keeping investors in the loop. Berkshire Hathaway
While the desire for privacy is certainly understandable, particularly when it comes to sensitive health matters, Pullen's openness about his health shows that he recognizes what's at stake for all of those involved with Tellabs – investors, for sure, but also customers, suppliers, and employees. This approach should certainly earn Pullen and Tellabs a gold star for transparency.
Always fans of strong and transparent corporate governance practices, we here at The Motley Fool applaud Tellabs and Rob Pullen for their handling of this difficult situation. Above all, though, we wish Rob a full and speedy recovery.
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, but does not have a financial interest in any of the other companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFoolor Facebook. The Fool’s disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.