The pandemic seems to raise new challenges every day – or possibly every hour – in both our personal and work lives. However, at least one of the challenges is not so new; namely, if and when to disclose that a CEO or other senior officer is infected with coronavirus.
I have expressed my views on disclosure of a CEO illness a couple of times in the last few years (see here and here). Simply stated, I think a CEO’s serious or potentially serious illness should almost always be disclosed. In some cases, he or she is the alter ego of the company; the CEO’s name is practically a household word, and his or her name is synonymous with that of the company. However, even when that is not the case, the CEO is (or at least should be) the most important person in the company. Certainly, if you read proxy statement disclosures, the CEO’s compensation is frequently justified on the basis that his/her leadership is very important, if not critical, to the company’s future; why else would or should he/she make the really big bucks and have so many financial reasons to stay with the company?