Apple's Frozen Board Needs a RebootS

A hospital officially confirmed Steve Jobs received a liver transplant there, and did so with Jobs' permission. Meaning everyone is talking about the Apple CEO's sickness, except Apple. The pressure on the company's paralyzed directors is, justifiably, mounting.

The deputy managing editor of the Wall Street Journal went so far as to call out individual board members on Twitter. "Gore, Jung, Schmidt, York, Levinson - where are you?" Alan Murray wrote. Yesterday, before the hospital confirmation, New York Times columnist Joe Nocera accused the directors of "dereliction of duty."

Like a hung computer operating system, Apple's board is neglecting pressing information-retrieval work. Data on the effectiveness of liver transplants for Jobs' condition is, at once, scant and unpromising. Yet some specific information about Jobs' condition would be useful in evaluating his prognosis, according to an anonymous surgeon's blog (see prior link, via).

The kindest and most generous characterization that can be made is that that the evidence for treating neuroendocrine tumors metastatic to the liver with liver transplantation is mixed at best.

But obviously Jobs' is recovering nicely if he's going back to work next week, right? Perhaps, but it's not clear how hard he'll be able to work; recall that Jobs may be working part-time, per a Journal report earlier this week. Or he might not. He might be already back to week, per an anonymous (read: probably spoon-fed by Apple) report from CNBC's Jim Goldman. Or he might not be returning until June 30.

It should go without saying, but apparently needs to be said: Apple shareholders deserve to know who is running Apple — and who will be running Apple a month from now.