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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Does a company have to disclose when a top executive has a serious medical problem?

Does a company have to disclose when a top executive has a serious medical problem?

If a top executive of a publicly held company suffers a serious medical problem, what should the company tell the world — and how soon?

It's vital knowledge for the company's stockholders, employees, customers and suppliers. But there's also the executive's right to privacy to consider.

The debate is being played at out Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp., where the mental competency of 92-year-old Sumner Redstone, the executive chairman of both companies, has been called into question.

That's prompted some institutional investors to seek more disclosures about Redstone's condition. CBS announced Wednesday that Redstone had resigned as its executive chairman and was named...

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