Updated from 9:37 a.m. EST
Do you own the stock of a public corporation because of what the company does or because of the person at the top?
Perhaps you look at
Johnson & Johnson
(JNJ - Get Report)
, and think, "This company makes things that are in my medicine cabinet, but that's neither here nor there. I really trust William Weldon."
Maybe you see an article on
(NVS - Get Report)
and say to yourself, "The company's drugs might or might not be successful. I don't care that much. What matters is Daniel Vasella."
Or, when you think about
(TR - Get Report)
, you say, "I'm not sure people will be buying candy in the coming months, but that's irrelevant. Melvin Gordon has my admiration."
Is this how you make most of your investing decisions? Probably not. For most investors, the choice to buy shares rests on the belief that a company, because of its products or services, is poised to be profitable, have growing revenue and see its stock price appreciate.
That should be no less true for
than it is for
(MMM - Get Report)
(UNP - Get Report)
(ACAT - Get Report)
But we know that isn't the case. What's different among all the aforementioned companies is that one of them has a celebrity CEO, a man who is so closely identified with the success of the business that many investors cannot fathom the idea of the operation going on without him. Of course, that person in this case is
, the CEO of Apple, the maker of the iPhone, the iPod and the iMac.