HP CEO Mark Hurd claims "isolated incidents of impropriety"

HP CEO Mark Hurd claims "isolated incidents of impropriety"

Summary: I am listening in on the HP press conference.  It's not exactly a conference in that neither CEO and soon to be Chairman Mark Hurd and Mike Holston of HP's external law firm Morgan Lewis are taking questions about HPGate (Full Coverage).

TOPICS: Hewlett-Packard

I am listening in on the HP press conference.  It's not exactly a conference in that neither CEO and soon to be Chairman Mark Hurd and Mike Holston of HP's external law firm Morgan Lewis are taking questions about HPGate (Full Coverage). Hurd and company will take questions at a Sept. 28  at hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Hurd probably is feeling a little less concerned about his job in that California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said the so far no evidence links him to any criminal wrongdoing.  The investigation is still ongoing, and whether Hurd and company broke any laws is just part of the story. In the eyes of many, including me,  HP executives and board members have been complicit in a lot of unethical behavior.

In the prepared remarks, Hurd said that his goal was to be as transparent and accurate as possible, sharing facts and next steps with the constraints of an ongoing investigation. It has nothing to with HP's operations, he said. As of today HP does not have all the facts, and there is no guarantee that all facts will come out due to the complexity and number players involved, Hurd said.
  (File photo)
He went on to say that leaks hurt the company's reputation and ability to operate. Finding the leaks was an appropriate course of action, he said. The first phase of HP's investigation yielded inconclusive results, and in the second phase nobody caught on to the inappropriate methods. Hurd then outlined what he knew, when. In Februrary 2006, he was informed about sending a false email and approved the method and naming convention, but he could not recall any knowledge of tracer technology, such as spyware, for surveillance. I guess Hurd doesn't consider sending false emails inappropriate to the task of ferreting out leakers.

He said he didn't read a email report addressed to him that revealed some of the inappropriate methods. The trigger was an email several weeks after the May board meeting, Hurd said, indicating issues with the processes. On September 8, Hurd employed the law firm Morgan Lewis, reporting directly to him. "We are committed to get to bottom of this," Hurd said. So far the firm has collected 1 million documents. "We believe now we have a substantial set of facts and we are confident that we have good understanding of what went on around investigation." He went on to say that some of findings are "very disturbing,"  and he extended his apology to the journalists and others who were part of the investigation.

Finally, Hurd described the affair as "isolated incidents of impropriety, and not an indication of how we conduct business at Hewlett-Packard." Now Mike Holston is going over a chronology of the events and the methods used to gather information on journalists.

In addition, HP accepted the resignation Patricia Dunn from the board, effective immediately, and Hurd is now chairman. Bart M. Schwartz was appointed at counsel. 

Topic: Hewlett-Packard

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  • Hewlett Packard practices

    Hewlett Packard has, unbeknownst to customers who purchased HP printers (tying product), tied as a condition, the purchase of new HP ink cartridges (tied product), or HP recycled ink cartridges, through the use illegal anti-competitive consumer practices. All in order to stop you from using your printer by shutting off it's use through imbedded chips to distiguish a competators product.

    After all, what are we talking about, it's a ball point pen refill morphed into a printer ink cartridge. It?s a recycled auto part! Again, I say Hewlett Packard, and the rest of the conspirators, play your silly games by cheating consumers on ink cost, and supplies. I say go ahead! But don?t stop me from the use of my printer.
    • They do hold a number of patents

      I agree that it is less than ethical not to make consumers aware that use of commonly-available third-party components in a device is prevented through some technological means.

      However, it is not fair to describe an inkjet cartridge as a "ballpoint pen refill."

      According to a C/net article:

      "HP holds 9,000 patents related to imaging and printing, 4,000 of them for consumable supplies such as ink and cartridges."

      These patents have been upheld time and again by US courts. It is unfortunate that consumers now have to research whether any printer they buy can legally (and physically) make use of economical refills.

      However, the law has sided with HP on this, and "caveat emptor" seems to apply in such situations. The best remedy is to vote with your dollar, and when you next shop for a printer, contact the vendor and see if they apply similar tactics before you buy.

      I can understand that a great deal of R&D actually does go into the manufacture of these cartridges. However, the amount of profit companies can expect as a return on this investment is, in the end, dictated by the consumer's willingness to accept these practices.
      • Something else to think about

        Watching C-SPAN regarding HP?s other practices, got me to thinking. At the speed of technology in today?s fast paced world, what is new today could be replaced in a weeks time as completely outdated. Shutting down the use of my HP printer, at a predetermined time by not allowing consumers the free choice in the use of ink supplies, or ink cartridges from other suppliers, brings up the question, what if HP decided that the printers now in use will not, and cannot be supported any longer by HP technical expertise or other product support, and considers those fully functional printers now in use obsolete? You know this happens each and everyday. Which leaves those HP fully functional printers presently in use, yours and mine, useless due to the unavailability of HP support or ink supplies, and the inability to function with ink supplies from other ink suppliers or competitors which are readily available.
  • HP Tracker Virus Unchecked -- Possible Damage

    Many are sympathetic to HP. I used to be. Consider this.

    What would have happened if the HP Tracker Virus had gone unchecked? What would have happened if the reporters forwarded the attachments to somebody using a D-O-D computer? What if the virus pattern had not been documented and included in anti-virus software running on the said PC?

    Best case -- extreme cost to taxpayers.
    Worse case -- compromise to national security, possibly death to many people.

    In the best case, all computers attached to, and all computers communicating with the infected PC would have to be scrubbed. All hard drives destroyed and put into a vat of acid. This might be thousands of PCs and file serves.

    In a worse case senario, critical PCs used for protecting our nation and people could have been compromised, and if enemies got access to the tracking, spying could have easily be done. What then? Possibly identification of covert assets, exposure of strategic sites and secrets, and possibly place thousands of lives in danger or worse actual death.

    Dunn and her accomplicese should be seen as national traitors and destroyes of the HP brand. It is time to stand up for our nation.

    I like HP, but think it will be a better company if consumers boycott them now. We still don't know. The tracker virus might still be out there, ready to pounce on our public safety, perhaps telling secrets to our enemies that would permit them to hurt us.
    • Let's examine some of these statements ..

      "compromise to national security, possibly death to many people. "

      This from a tracking email, not a replicating true virus of which there are HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS circulating today and have for years with NO REPORTED INJURIES let alone deaths attributed to them ??

      "All hard drives destroyed and put into a vat of acid. This might be thousands of PCs and file serves."

      Destroyed and put into a VAT OF ACID ?? I think someone here might have too much experience with ACID !!!

      I'm sorry, but when someone claiming to be a "security expert" comes up with this kind of drivel, all I can feel is pity. I'd like to feel contempt, but to see rantings this far removed from reality really tugs at my heartstrings.