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Spy: The HP Way

5:00 PM -- It's been a busy week at HP. Recent reports have revealed that executives there have spied on journalists and their own board members. They've also tried to find out a journalist's sources by concocting fake presentations and leaking them to the media under the guise of a fictitious, disgruntled senior executive.

HP's never been what I'd call a friendly place. But now it seems to be downright ruthless. Does there come a point when the media should stop giving a company the benefit of the doubt? I'm wondering:

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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sfwriter 12/5/2012 | 3:39:58 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way Every company deserves fair treatment from journalists. Still, HP really crossed the line here. It's just another example of the erosion of freedom of the press in this country.
Larry, Monkey 12/5/2012 | 3:39:58 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way Medal of Freedom. Definitely. Medal of Freedom.
lightreceding 12/5/2012 | 3:39:50 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way Herd is quoted as saying during the press conference that he didn't read the email that was sent notifying him of the questionable practices in the investigation. He doesn't deny getting the email. What an idiot. He wants us to believe that didn't read such an important email. Is this some attempt to evade responsibility or is he admiting negligence in his duties?
lightreceding 12/5/2012 | 3:39:50 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way So what is with this, Dunn out but Herd takes Chairman role. I thought Herd was implicated as well. In any case the CEO should not also be the Chairman of the Board. This is the lack of independant oversight that lead to stock options scandals.
whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 3:39:48 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way People are not asked to leave the board lightly and without rock solid proof. People like Perkins do not lightly "go public".

You cannot tell me that at the board meeting they voted out the leaker, there was not a copy of his or the reporter's phone bill presented as "rock solid proof".

You cannot tell me Dunn nor Herd nor the members of the board are so stupid as to believe that data was obtained in any legal manner, in spite of the advise of counsel. This stunt was obviously far from borderline, it was and is flat out illegal, at least in California.

The "advise of counsel" is not a "get of jail free" -card. The internal attorneys are fired, so the board figured that one out. Now they should get Sonsini's resignation and sue his butt off.

The irony is any award will probably come from HPs D&O insurance, not WSG&R's malpractice insurance.

Not the first time the S in WSG&R gets in hot water:

http://www.law.com/jsp/article...

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/...

http://www.law.com/jsp/ca/PubA...

http://www.law.com/jsp/ca/PubA...

http://legalpad.wordpress.com/...

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy...

As always, JMHO

-Why
whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 3:39:46 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way Bring back William Hewlett as chairman, receive the entire boards resignation, including Herd.

Bring back trust in HP.

-Why
lightreceding 12/5/2012 | 3:39:45 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way What is really something is that these guys are making Carly look good in comparison, just as her book is coming out.
whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 3:39:44 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way Well, I don't know about looking good.

She had a wild penchant for personal comforts.

Imelda = shoes, Carly = planes.

HP traditionally had two smallish executive jets parked at SJC. Under Carly, the HP Air Force expanded so much they had to construct a large maintenance hangar, just to handle them all.

Cost cutting suggestion: sell the planes, close the hangar, fly commercial.

Hewlett can charge the company to fly his own.

-Why
lightreceding 12/5/2012 | 3:39:42 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way Latest news is that some pension funds are pushing for a vote on the board. Maybe they will hold people accountable.
whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 3:39:41 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way Not holding my breath. Pension funds did not keep the merger from happening, nor Hewlett on the board. They did not keep Carly or Patty under any semblance of control.

IMHO, corporate governance law desperately needs major reforms at the federal level. No more executives on boards of directors, for one. That's like putting a fox in charge of the chicken coop, and wondering why egg production keeps dropping and dropping.

-Why
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