The issue of disclosing a key executive’s health problems to the public is a subject that has been widely debated. On one hand, the news would be vital to the company’s stockholders, suppliers, employees, and customers. On the other hand, the executives have the right to privacy, and any disclosure would amount to the violation of personal rights (Peltz, 2016). When companies experience medical setbacks involving their top leaders, privacy and legality issues arise. The company should only release the information if the CEO authorizes it because it is a private matter. The federal securities law does not have a blanket exemption with regard to confidentiality laws (Peltz, 2016). Therefore, companies are not obligated to talk publicly about the health of their executives. If an organization discloses such information, they could violate their privacy, and therefore, suffer liability. It would be important for shareholders and other stakeholders to be informed about a Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO) health issue. However, this should be done with their consent. In certain cases, this would amount to “material” information. However, the company is not obligated under the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules to disclose it (Peltz, 2016). Moreover, there is much data that shareholders would like to access that companies do not make public. Legally, a company has a duty to reveal “material” information to the public. The SEC does not clearly define whether the health of the CEO is classified as such. Executives have a right to keep personal information private, and it should be disclosed only if the health problems are so serious that they could affect the stability of the company.
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Peltz, J. F. (2016). Does a company have to disclose when a top executive has a serious medical problem? Los Angeles Times. Web.