HP Shenanigans

September 08, 2006

HP Shenanigans


I keep thinking how ironic it is that Hewlett-Packard is in the news again and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina’s memoir is about to be published in October. Her book, Tough Choices, would undoubtedly be a hit without the headline making news coming out of HP. In case you have not heard, HP investigated its own board to identify who was leaking information to the media at the beginning of the year. Board director Thomas Perkins quit over the “questionable ethics and the dubious legality” of board chairman Patricia Dunn’s methods to find the leaker.

The old adage that all publicity — no matter how bad — is good publicity certainly applies in this case. As the HP “pretexting” saga unfolds, Carly’s book only becomes more interesting and a must-read. What timing! We can expect Fiorina to defend her actions and have a few choice words about the board’s behavior when she was CEO. There is a good chance, however, that chairman Patricia Dunn will be gone by the time the book hits the shelves.

HP does not need this level of distraction as Mark Hurd continues his turnaround of the giant computer company. Will be fascinating to watch how this crisis impacts the reputations of HP, Carly Fiorina and Mark Hurd. More to come.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross
lesliegainesross@gmail.com

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

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