Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Apple’s Management Obsessed With Secrecy

The New York Times wrote Apple’s Management Obsessed With Secrecy.

"Few companies, indeed, are more secretive than Apple, or as punitive to those who dare violate the company’s rules on keeping tight control over information. Employees have been fired for leaking news tidbits to outsiders, and the company has been known to spread disinformation about product plans to its own workers."

"For corporate governance experts, and perhaps federal regulators, the biggest question is whether Mr. Jobs’s approach has led to violating laws that cover what companies must disclose to the public about the well-being of their chief executive." His liver transplant happened while he was on leave but in January they said that he was suffering only from a hormonal imbalance.

"'In this environment, where transparency is critical, the more information you give the marketplace the better,' said Charles Elson, director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware. 'For a technology company that views itself as innovative, it’s a little odd that they are getting a reputation for lack of transparency.'"

I'm okay with the secrecy though some of the things they describe are precautions I saw at the NSA. Pretty severe.


Roman said...

It was funny how at WWDC Apple engineers were absolutely mum on anything to do with the future. You would get this practiced immediate switch-off and blank look - "no comment" or "no comment on future plans"... It was also funny to hear NDA and privacy reminder broadcast before each session to audience of sometimes thousands people.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to note that senior management at large publicly traded companies routinely justify their outrageous pay packages by saying how indispensible certain people are to the survival and continued operations of the organization, so they are worth say more money than I, or most of you, will ever see in our lifetimes.

If that is the case, how is the health of such a valued member of management not a material fact critical to the success or failure of an organzation, and therefore required to be disseminated/disclosed to the shareholders as important information.

They can't have it both ways ;-).