Bloomberg News

Apple Board Handled Jobs’ Health Matters Correctly, Gore Says

October 21, 2011

Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. board member and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore said the issues related to Steve Jobs’s illness were handled appropriately and the founder planned for the future by nurturing talent.

“I thought it was handled absolutely correctly,” Gore said of Jobs’s medical condition at the All Things D technology conference in Hong Kong today. “I wouldn’t change a single thing” about how the board handled it.

Jobs, who built the world’s most valuable technology company by introducing products including the iPhone and iPad, died this month, eight years after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His replacement Tim Cook won’t face an exodus of executives because “their loyalty to the company is quite deep,” Gore said.

“I don’t think the executive team would split given Apple’s reputation and momentum in the market,” Alexander Peterc, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas in London. “For those who were thinking of leaving, they would have left already.”

Cook needs the company’s talent pool to maintain Jobs’ legacy of innovation amid rising competition from tablet computers and smartphones that operate on Google Inc.’s Android software. Companies led by Samsung Electronics Co. are introducing new models in the segments previously dominated by the products Jobs pioneered.

Apple fell in U.S. trading on Oct. 19 after profit missed analysts’ predictions for the first time in at least six years amid signs that customers delayed iPhone purchases before the release of the latest model.

Secret Treatments

Jobs received secret treatments for the illness while telling people he was cured, his authorized biographer Walter Isaacson told CBS News’s “60 Minutes,” according to excerpts released yesterday.

Gore, an Apple board member since 2007, said Jobs had counseled employees in their final years to put their own stamp on the organization after his passing. Jobs used to say Walt Disney Co. had struggled after the death of its founder because executives often asked “What would Walt do,” Gore cited Jobs as saying.

“Don’t ask what Steve would have done, follow your own voice,” Gore quoted Jobs as saying. Apple “had discussions at every single board meeting about cultivating talent.”

Jobs put off cancer surgery for nine months while he sought out spiritual and dietary therapies against the advice of his wife, Isaacson said. Once he had the surgery he told his employees about it while playing down the seriousness of his condition, CBS said.

--With assistance from Edmond Lococo in Beijing. Editor: Dave McCombs, Anand Krishnamoorthy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Culpan in Taipei at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at

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