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The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Kraft CEO Roger Deromedi has gone home from the hospital after spending two weeks in the hospital with what the company described as an "undiagnosed medical condition."

However, the WSJ notes that despite the reported recovery, questions remain about Kraft’s leadership. Only a very small circle of people - including Altria Chairman Louis Camilleri, who currently is running the company in Deromedi’s absence - know the nature of the illness.

“Kraft's situation illustrates a knotty management problem,” the WSJ reports. “When the top executive gets sick, the company has some responsibility to keep investors and employees informed. But that must be balanced with an individual's legal right to medical privacy, and a desire to prevent speculation about his condition.”

At this point, Kraft has chosen almost complete discretion – telling virtually nobody about the nature of the illness, not dealing with the issue of succession (since Deromedi is only in the job three months), and hope that the CEO can return to work before the situation gets out of hand.
KC's View:
Hard to imagine in this day and age, but all the reports suggest that the situation is exacerbated by the fact that doctors apparently haven’t made a final diagnosis yet.

We hope – both for Deromedi’s and Kraft’s sakes – that he gets back to work soon and that all is well. We suspect, however, that somehow the nature of the illness will get out…that’s just the nature of the world these days.

Secrecy also goes against our nature. After all, if the Content Guy gets a hangnail, we tend to write it up in gruesome detail.