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Investors Punish Lazard For CEO Illness

Shares of Lazard closed lower on Monday after CEO and legendary dealmaker Bruce Wasserstein was hospitalized for an irregular heartbeat.

Wasserstein's condition is serious, but he is stable and recovering, Lazard said, adding that it will not be providing updates at this time.

The Wall Street veteran achieved fame as an adviser to buyout house KKR on its unprecedented acquisition of RJR Nabisco in 1989, which was recorded for posterity in the book, "Barbarians at the Gate."

Throughout his career, Wasserstein helped broker more than 1,000 transactions worth more than $250 billion, including Time's merger with Warner Brothers and the Dean Witter, Discover & Co. combination with Morgan Stanley.

“This is a person that's deeply involved in the relationships that are so fundamental to this company," explains Campbell Harvey, a professor at Duke University's business school. "It just screams uncertainty."

And that led us to wonder – which other CEOs are so tightly linked to their companies that sudden illness might also impact the firm’s share price. Here’s our list.

Mark Hurd – Hewlett Packard
Warren Buffett – Berkshire Hathaway
Lloyd Blankein – Goldman Sachs
Mickey Drexler - JCrew

Find out what the traders have to say about these companies and what might happen if the CEOs were unable to perform their jobs at the company, for whatever reason. Watch the video now!


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