Dunn is done (as HP's chairwoman) but stays on Board

Dunn is done (as HP's chairwoman) but stays on Board

Summary: News.com’s Scott Ard and Ina Fried: Hewlett-Packard Chairman Patricia Dunn, who launched an investigation into a media leaks that resulted in a firestorm of controversy, has agreed to resign her post following a meeting of the company's board of directors….

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TOPICS: Hewlett-Packard
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News.com’s Scott Ard and Ina Fried:

Hewlett-Packard Chairman Patricia Dunn, who launched an investigation into a media leaks that resulted in a firestorm of controversy, has agreed to resign her post following a meeting of the company's board of directors….The board has appointed CEO and President Mark Hurd to take over for Dunn, who will continue to serve as chairman through the company's Jan. 18, 2007, scheduled meeting, the company announced early Tuesday. After that point, Dunn will remain on the board as a director.

So, Dunn is done as chairwoman but gets to stay as a director? This will certainly embroil HP in more controversy over the days and weeks.  Hurd went on to say:

I am taking action to ensure that inappropriate investigative techniques will not be employed again. They have no place in HP.

They have no place anywhere. But, to think that HP is the only place where this has happened is absurd.  Where else? As much as I hate regulation and legislation, perhaps we need some sort of law requiring any company that keeps account information about its customers (banks, telcos, etc.) to notify those customers via snail mail any time that account information is accessed. Some organizations follow this practice already when passwords are changed. From other corners, the consolidation of chairman and CEO power into one person (Hurd) is also drawing criticism:

Eric Ross, a financial analyst at ThinkEquity Partners, said that replacing Dunn was a good move for the company, if only because the controversy may be demoralizing and distracting employees...But Hurd's accumulated power, as president, CEO and soon chairman, does raise questions of corporate governance, Ross said...."Making Hurd chairman seems to be a lot of power for one person," he said. "It seems like the world's moving away from that model."

Meanwhile, like Yogi Berra said, the game isn't over until it's over.  With just about every agency now having launched their own probes into the matter, there will undoubtedly be more turbulence ahead for HP.

Topic: Hewlett-Packard

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3 comments
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  • scorched earth policy?

    I think it's important to recognize that she didn't go quietly. George Keyworth resigned immediately as a result of the same board action, which seems clearly to me to be a case of "if I go, he goes too."
    GDF
  • Dunn should go

    Keyworth had to go. So does Dunn. Quite simply, she had to take responsibility for generating so much negative publicity for HP, even if her lawyers can spin the whole thing in such a way that she had not done anything "illegal" legally.

    In the unlikely situation that she genuinely "did not know" about pretexting being deployed, she still have to carry the can as the person who started the whole snooping.

    Her action (and subsequent reaction) has rattled HP. The fact that HP has to file additional 8-K statement is proof. So far, Perkins' goes out with a bang and "glory" as someone untainted and a great whistle-blower, and HP seems to be going further deeper into the mud.

    May be it is time to do what we see on Court Room Drama: If the information is obtained unethically/illegally, it cannot be act upon.
    sinleeh@...
  • HP is as arrogant as Enron

    HP used to be a class act, but that was a really long time ago. They've just devised a strategy whereby they can (and have) garnered hundreds of headlines saying "steps down" "ousts" etc., when, in fact she is keeping her job. The headlines should have read: "HP Keeps Dunn", but none did. It's ridiculous to believe that the CEO/President will simply throw on another hat, and pick up all of her current duties as Chairman. If he can do that, either he or she (or both?) must not be working at capacity currently, or he is planning on doing a half-assed job come January. I think not. Obviously, the only things that have changed are their job titles. Clearly HP has a culture of duplicity, and the press is, well, the press. Present company excepted, that is. Yours was the only headline that told the real story. I skimmed several stories that totally ignored the fact that she's still on the Board. If nothing else, HP appears to be as *arrogant* as Enron. I'm generally anti-litigation, but I hope to see some legal action before this is over. They hired people to act unethically on their behalf. They are either stupid or guilty. In any case, they are unfit leaders who are taking advantage of mostly clueless "watchdogs". Perhaps some other very Enron-ish things are also taking place there.
    Emmy2