It strikes me as odd that a company that can deliver 54 million web search results for the phrase ''lost voice causes'' in under a second, has nothing to say itself when queried about the mysterious muting of its own CEO.
Google's (GOOG) 39-year-old co-founder and CEO Larry Page has suddenly been stricken a ''non-serious'' throat condition that will prevent him from talking for the next few weeks. He missed last week's annual shareholder meeting, will be absent from the I/O developers' conference this week, and has already backed out of Google's second-quarter earnings conference call scheduled for mid-July.
"It just strikes us as a little curious as to why someone would not be able to participate in all three of those events over the course of a number of weeks," say Scott Kessler, Sr. Equity Analyst at S&P Capital IQ in the attached video. "We wonder what kind of condition would cause him to be unable to not only talk and participate, but even appear at these keys events. It is a little worrisome."
Aside from a flippant remark by former CEO and Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt (that the ailment "will make Page a better CEO because he will have to choose his words carefully") and an email Page sent to Google staffers saying there was ''nothing seriously wrong'' with him, nothing else has been said and thus, the door to speculate has been left wide open.
"I don't know what the right balance to strike here is," says Kessler in trying to reconcile investors' need to know versus an individual's right to privacy. "I don't know if we have a right to know what it is, but I think we have a right to be worried."
Fair or not, parallels are already being drawn to former Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs, who was initially the subject of weight loss concerns after appearing at a company event just 6 miles away in California's Silicon Valley.
In the meantime, investors have been effectively put on watch, but will undoubtedly continue to seek more information from every possible source, including throat specialists who have never even seen the patient.
As crazy as that sounds, it seems even crazier to let a simple problem fester if it really isn't serious, unless of course it is.
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