Tech investors are starting to worry about the health of Larry Page after the Google CEO missed the search giant's shareholder meeting last week and will miss several more key events into next month. In addition to last week's shareholder meeting, Page will also miss this week's I/O conference and next month's second-quarter earnings call. The company has been relatively mum about what health problems are keeping Page from these events, but former CEO and current chairman Eric Schmidt did say that Page had lost his voice.
Changes in leadership, and especially concerns about the health of top executives, at tech companies draws concern among investors, especially since the handling of Steve Jobs' illness and death by Apple. The company was very quiet about Jobs' health issues during the last year of his life, only disclosing his cancer after he had undergone surgery in 2004, and continued that secrecy as he battled for his life last year. While nobody has come forth with any suggestion that Page's ailments are serious, some question the benefit of not being more open about what he is suffering from, especially with the way Google stock has performed this year.
Google shares have fared worse than the general tech sector this year, particularly rivals like Microsoft and Apple, with shares slipping more than 13 percent since January 1st, a bigger loss than even Yahoo, a company that has struggled to stay relevant for a decade. According to an official statement from Google on Monday, Page continues to run the Mountain View, California company and is involved daily with strategic business decisions, but will not be able to do any public speaking engagements.