After pancreatic-cancer surgery and a liver transplant, Steve Jobs is again battling his health. In a short email to employees, Jobs confirmed that he'll take another medical leave, while continuing as CEO to make "major strategic decisions for the company."
- What is your assessment of Jobs' email to employees? Some analysts thought the email sounded negative, as if Jobs were unsure about when -- or whether -- he would return to the company. Do you agree? Why or why not?
- Compare this email to a previous email sent by Jobs. What, if any, differences do you see? What could account for these differences?
- Evaluate how Jobs' announcement affected Apple stock in the short-term. The news came on a federal holiday (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), so the U.S. markets were closed, but how did the rest of the world respond? And what, if any, impact did the stock see the next day, when the U.S. markets opened? From this example, what conclusions can you draw about communicating bad news?
- Rewrite Jobs' email to thwart criticism that it sounded too negative.