Marissa Mayer is Yahoo!’s fifth CEO in as many years, but the pregnancy issue, which she disclosed to the board originally, will require taking time off from the challenged web company.
Just as the question of whether Apple had a duty to disclose Steve Jobs’ illness was raised when he became sick, particularly under the SEC rules which appear not to require any affirmative duty unless a Form 8-K is triggered or similar circumstances impose a legal obligation.
Forbes report that a CEO’s pregnancy may not be captured by an SEC reporting obligation. As Forbes write:
“Apple shrugged off initial inquiries about Jobs’ health and said in one instance that his gaunt appearance was due to a “common bug.” If a company has an outstanding statement that the CEO’s health is sound, says Romanek, there is an argument that the company had a duty to update (or was misleading to begin with). The SEC opened an investigation into Apple’s lack of disclosure of Job’s health issue.
“Employment law also complicates the discussion about whether Mayer or the company should have disclosed her pregnancy along with her new job. Mayer did not have to disclose her pregnancy — news of which first appeared Monday in Fortune magazine — to a potential employer and the employer can’t ask. In this case, Mayer says she told the Yahoo! board about the baby during the selection process and directors did not consider her condition an obstacle to considering her for the job and, in the end, hiring her.”
The Marissa Mayer appointment has entered a period of constroversy for the web company the very day she is appointed.