Monday, September 11, 2006

HP's sad descent into moral turpitude UPDATE

It's past the point that Hewlett-Packard should replace chairperson Patricia Dunn. After meeting on Sunday, the board evidently couldn't make up its mind to release Dunn who's admitted launching a probe which, possibly illegally certainly unethically, used false pretenses to retrieve phone records of other board members, employees - and reporters!

It should have taken all of 5 minutes for the board to tell Dunn to resign or get ousted. At this point, nothing less than the replacement of the entire board as well as Dunn apologist Mark Hurd, HP's CEO, will be enough to restore a modicum of trust in this former bastion of high integrity.

UPDATE: Will, ms. Dunn has now decided to step down as chairman - although she will remain on the board. But the chair won't transition to CEO Mark Hurd until mid-January! How many mistakes can one company's board of directors make in a single evening?

Dunn should be gone from HP entirely, and it should be now - not four months from now. It's not as if there's any day-to-day issues, any loose ends, that need to be resolved first. And to replace her with Hurd is bad on almost every level. The company needs outside oversight, Hurd may well be implicated in the illegal operations and, frankly, there are too many examples of companies stumbling with a single person as chair and CEO. And HP isn't in a good position to attempt to bet against that trend. It's a sad day for what was once the textbook example of how to run a technology company.

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