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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lightreceding 12/5/2012 | 3:38:29 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way Yep, Hurd can't even lie well. I agree that the BoD should be replaced.

The point that I found most interesting in an article was when a Lawyer advised that the board could have sued its self and gained suponea rights to the information that they wanted.

The press still doesn't seem to know what pretexting. It is when you lie about why you need the information. If you also lie about who you are it is a serious matter as the HP Execs are finding out.

The felony charges might be a bit of political grandstanding, but HP Execs should have know better.
chip_mate 12/5/2012 | 3:38:35 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way HP used to be an upstanding company in the eyes of the World. A shining light on the hill.

Time to step back from the urinal and let the blinking red light complete it's mission: FLUSH.

I have read 19 stories in 7 different publications on this issue this week. The one that stuck out had a question posed to Mr. Hurd, in essence:
Did you read the report?
Answer: yes, but only briefly, I was about to give a big speech, so my mind was elsewhere, It was not my best moment.

Gotta throw the flag and call bullshit on that one.
Proper response to the person who pushed that in front of Mr. Hurd before the "big speech" is:

"Thanks, not now, get this in front of me later today, or on the flight home. Thanks!"

First of all, that's the correct response. Second of all, Mr. Hurd never said that because this report never was put in front of him before the "big speech". NO ONE in his circle of support would have done that. Only a newbie MBA who just didn't know, would hand something like a Board Of Directors Investigative Report to the CEO right before the "big speech".

This guy is so transparent it's not even funny.

HP is in uncharted territory. Headed towards places that it was NEVER supposed to enter in a 1000 years.
fredfrenzy 12/5/2012 | 3:38:37 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way ...and to compare it will drug dealing is quite a stretch.

Indeed, I was irritated to hear this compared to enron or worldcom. Sorry, but this wasn't stealing ga-zillions of $$ from stock holders and employees.

This is pre-election times and the combination of corp. governance and privacy issues make for a great circus on the hill.
whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 3:38:44 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way Sail:

Well, it's pretty clear this is still the board battle between the old HP clique versus the new HP clique from way back at the Carly fiasco, and probably before that. The had at least one "by the numbers" CEOs before Carly.

Between Fiorina and Dunn the new HP board clique has shown they are at best unethical and at least stupid. The tipoff on membership in the unethical new HP clique is the use of the "I am so stupid that even though they told me they had accessed private phone records, I didn't realize they had gotten them illegally" -defense.

Like Hurd:

From WSJ According to other Wilson Sonsini memos, several other participants at the July 2005 meeting told the lawyers that phone records were discussed, and possibly the use of pretexting as well. H-P investigators Kevin Huska and Tony Gentilucci, who both attended the meeting with Mr. Hurd, told Wilson Sonsini that phone records were discussed, but neither could recall if pretexting was also raised.

Mr. DeLia told the lawyers that any results discussed at the meeting "would have had to include the results of the telephone research." Mr. DeLia also told the lawyers that he explained how pretexting was used at the July 2005 meeting, though he told them he wasn't sure if Mr. Hurd was in the room during the discussion of phone records.

The Wilson Sonsini memo also describes Mr. Hurd's recollection of the March 2006 meeting, which was held in Los Angeles and coincided with H-P's shareholder meeting. Mr. Hurd told the lawyers that Kevin Hunsaker -- an H-P vice president who helped lead the leak probe, and has subsequently resigned -- "explained that they had information regarding phone calls," the memo states.
= the "I'm stupid" defense.

Mr Hurd being that stupid has no business being a CEO.


PS: Thats Walter Hewlett, not William (my brain got stuck earlier). Perkins overall seems to be a standup guy. That's part of the old HP clique.

^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 3:38:47 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way I agree with Why. The ENTIRE BOD should be fired. There is no way they did not know what was happening and that it was illegal.

They BOD should also be denied any $$ for their months in the BOD role during the time this spying was being done. I know BOD members get large retainer checks as part of being on the board.

I also think Herd should be fired as well.

In addition I believe the clauses that are in all their employment contracts that state that they are not eligible for pensions or retirement or severance if they violate internal ethics policies or the law should be enforced.

Bring back Mr Hewlett. Bring back Mr. Perkins.

And while we are cleaning house, fire anyone with any participation in this, including and especially anyone else at the "O" level within the company.

In the meantime, I am going to buy all my new printers and printer supplies from their competition until they clean this up and FIRE the entire pack of those responsible. Not just Dunn.

Instead of justice happening, and instead of the entire truth coming out, I believe they will have a "fall person" and even that token fall person will recieve a slap on the wrist and a fine at most, and Dunn will not have to give up her severance nor retirement benefits from HP.

startup_shutup 12/5/2012 | 3:38:49 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way May be look for candidate who has uncanny ability to be unethical?

Ex-HP Chairwoman, 4 Others Face Charges
Wednesday October 4, 10:30 pm ET
By Jordan Robertson, AP Business Writer
California Attorney General Charges Ex-Hewlett-Packard Chairwoman, 4 Others in Spy Probe

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Prosecutors filed criminal charges Wednesday against Hewlett-Packard's former chairwoman and four others involved in the corporate spying scandal that has shaken the Silicon Valley tech giant long revered for its ethics and professionalism.

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer accused two ousted HP insiders -- chairwoman Patricia Dunn and chief ethics officer Kevin Hunsaker -- and three outside investigators -- Ronald DeLia, Matthew DePante of Melbourne, Fla. and Bryan Wagner of Littleton, Colo. -- of violating state privacy laws in HP's crusade to root out the source of boardroom leaks.

whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 3:38:51 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way Dunn done, done, done...


whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 3:38:57 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way The old HP way: respect for human dignity, faith in the idea that one can deliver good incomes and job security based on SOTA products commanding SOTA prices, then reinvesting the profits in R&D to do it again!

The new HP way: She with the most airplanes when she dies wins! Let them eat cake with a bug in it, then track them! Did the photographers catch the glint of that tear on my cheek?
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:39:00 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way
I have found people in the following profression "Pretext" regularly:

1 - Journalists
2 - Fianancial Analysts
3 - Private Investigators
4 - Police
5 - People at Trade Shows
6 - Guys in Bars
7 - Gals in Bars

opticalwatcher 12/5/2012 | 3:39:02 AM
re: Spy: The HP Way Yes, it was a strike force in 1998 that stopped the drug dealers in East Palo Alto. I certainly like your story about cops having nothing to do with it. Certainly in the long run more jobs will help the city more. But it is still kind of absurd to compare drug wars in East Palo Alto to pretexting.

Congress has found the following companies having practiced pretexting: Honda, Wells Fargo, Ford, and many more. So you're going to have to broaden your moral outrage to a lot more companies and CEOs.
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