Currently reading - Baby, Drive South by Srephanie Bond
Three weeks ago, law firm Hagens Berman filed a class action suit against five major publishers and Apple. I talked a little bit about the lawsuit a couple of weeks ago, what it may mean for the traditional publishers, as well as how it may affect the indies.
Now Steve Jobs has resigned as Apple's CEO. There's been much conjecture as to why he left Apple now, but it's no secret that he's been fighting cancer. But should Mr. Jobs have left the company synonymous with his name with litigation pending?
There are certain protections a person has when acting in the position of a corporation's officer. Those protections disappear when the officer leaves the company, no matter the terms of the departure. If Mr. Jobs thinks he'll avoid the stress effects of a trial on his health by leaving Apple, he'll be as mistaken as the late Ken Lay, former CEO of Enron. (Ken Lay died of a heart attack shortly after he was found guilty by a jury on Federal court for his actions in regards to the collapse of the energy giant. By the time his case went to trial, Enron no longer existed. Mr. Lay had also resigned prior to Enron's final collapse.)
Unfortunately, Mr. Jobs said in several interviews during the Great Agency Pricing Kerfluffle that he and the publishers came to an agreement together. Those statements may come back to haunt Apple if something does happen to Mr. Jobs before the lawsuit is tried or settled. Without Jobs to refute or offer explanations to the court, Apple may find themselves in a world of hurt.