Corporate hypocrisy by HP

I’m reading a bunch of blogs about HP’s board and, man, does it get worse and worse.

Check this out: testimony in front of the U.S. House of Representatives by HP’s Scott Taylor, Chief Privacy Officer. What did he tell them? “First and foremost is that privacy is actually a core value at HP. As a company, HP is 100 percent committed to excellence in consumer and employee privacy…” 

Now compare that to what Patricia Dunn, chairwoman at HP apparently did. Lying. Breaking the law. And invading people’s privacy.

If Patricia Dunn is ever hired to a company I’m working for I’m instantly quitting. She should be fired. Instantly. Without cause. Without a severance check. Without ANYTHING. (She should listen to Paul Kedrosky, who calls on her to resign, and save HP and its shareholders from this trouble).

HP, do you have no shame?

Hewlett and Packard are twisting in their graves tonight. What a shame. Whatever happened to “the HP way?” It died today.

UPDATE: congrats again to Tom Perkins, the guy who walked out in disgust. The letter he sent to HP’s board is now online.

UPDATE 2: Dave Taylor, who worked at HP with both Hewlett and Packard, gives us the historical context behind why this can be traced back to Carly Fiorina’s time running HP. The Washington Post also reports that HP is saying that the “leaker” also leaked info leading up to Carly’s firing.

Comments

  1. Patricia Dunn and all members of the board that did not object to her McCarthy tactics should be fired. If HP accepts these behaviors from its board how can we expect better behavior from anyone else at the company?

    Interesting… the Vice Chair and President of Verizon (Lawrence T. Babbio) is on HP’s board. Does he approve of these tactics? Can Verizon be trusted with customer information?

  2. Patricia Dunn and all members of the board that did not object to her McCarthy tactics should be fired. If HP accepts these behaviors from its board how can we expect better behavior from anyone else at the company?

    Interesting… the Vice Chair and President of Verizon (Lawrence T. Babbio) is on HP’s board. Does he approve of these tactics? Can Verizon be trusted with customer information?

  3. M: I totally agree. Anyone in a board position who stands by and does nothing when illegal actions (and those going against the company’s own ethics philosophy) should be fired. We need LEADERS in board seats. HP unfortunately seems to have lost the only one it had.

  4. M: I totally agree. Anyone in a board position who stands by and does nothing when illegal actions (and those going against the company’s own ethics philosophy) should be fired. We need LEADERS in board seats. HP unfortunately seems to have lost the only one it had.

  5. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple did something of this sort. I didn’t expect this from Patricia Dunn. I used to admire her a lot for her leadership. What a fall from grace she has had.

  6. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple did something of this sort. I didn’t expect this from Patricia Dunn. I used to admire her a lot for her leadership. What a fall from grace she has had.

  7. M Curtis Patricia Dunn and all members of the board that did not object to her McCarthy tactics should be fired.

    What, exactly, was McCarthy-esque about her tactics? You’re probably on more solid ground if you called them Hoover-esque tactics.

  8. M Curtis Patricia Dunn and all members of the board that did not object to her McCarthy tactics should be fired.

    What, exactly, was McCarthy-esque about her tactics? You’re probably on more solid ground if you called them Hoover-esque tactics.

  9. Would it be illegal for us all to phone up HP and pretend to be Patricia Dunn?

    We could then all ask for the next round of “confidential board information” directly and save the trouble of board members having to leak it themselves :-)

  10. Would it be illegal for us all to phone up HP and pretend to be Patricia Dunn?

    We could then all ask for the next round of “confidential board information” directly and save the trouble of board members having to leak it themselves :-)

  11. Shocked and saddened by Patricia’s actions as well. But honestly, I think we’d all be shocked (even you Robert) by how far big companies go in this regard to “protect” themselves. I’d be willing to bet your old employer Big Blue (oh wait, I mean Microsoft) even has mass amounts of seemingly innocent data points on each employee. In the wrong hands, that data is very “useful” to achieve ulterior motives. Fox Mulder’s are nothing compared to my conspiracy theories.

  12. Shocked and saddened by Patricia’s actions as well. But honestly, I think we’d all be shocked (even you Robert) by how far big companies go in this regard to “protect” themselves. I’d be willing to bet your old employer Big Blue (oh wait, I mean Microsoft) even has mass amounts of seemingly innocent data points on each employee. In the wrong hands, that data is very “useful” to achieve ulterior motives. Fox Mulder’s are nothing compared to my conspiracy theories.

  13. Shocked: if Microsoft tried this the blogosphere would be up in arms. Nothing is a better story than a monopolist that spies. Nothing, I tell you!

    This is over the top, though. If I ever heard Microsoft were doing something like this I’d be yelling even louder than I am at HP. And that’s saying something.

  14. Shocked: if Microsoft tried this the blogosphere would be up in arms. Nothing is a better story than a monopolist that spies. Nothing, I tell you!

    This is over the top, though. If I ever heard Microsoft were doing something like this I’d be yelling even louder than I am at HP. And that’s saying something.

  15. If Patricia Dunn’s actions were illegal then she should be prosecuted. I’d like to know what the District Attorney of Palo Alto has to say on this subject.

  16. If Patricia Dunn’s actions were illegal then she should be prosecuted. I’d like to know what the District Attorney of Palo Alto has to say on this subject.

  17. Scott: pretext calling is a felony under Gramm Leach Bliley (pretext is what’s called when you call the phone company and lie to get access to someone else’s records without them knowing you are accessing their records and it appears to be what happened in this case).

    Now, the problem is putting Patricia’s fingerprints on it and convincing a jury that she was complicit (since she wasn’t the one who pretexted it’s a lot harder to prove what she knew and how she knew it). But, since a board member quit over this behavior it’s pretty clear she admitted to him how she found out about the leaking behavior.

    Personally I would not be sad to see her charged with a crime. This is TOTALLY over the line behavior.

    http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/privacyinitiatives/glbact.html has more on the Gramm Leach Bliley act.

  18. Scott: pretext calling is a felony under Gramm Leach Bliley (pretext is what’s called when you call the phone company and lie to get access to someone else’s records without them knowing you are accessing their records and it appears to be what happened in this case).

    Now, the problem is putting Patricia’s fingerprints on it and convincing a jury that she was complicit (since she wasn’t the one who pretexted it’s a lot harder to prove what she knew and how she knew it). But, since a board member quit over this behavior it’s pretty clear she admitted to him how she found out about the leaking behavior.

    Personally I would not be sad to see her charged with a crime. This is TOTALLY over the line behavior.

    http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/privacyinitiatives/glbact.html has more on the Gramm Leach Bliley act.

  19. Hmm how many HP share holders does it take to put a motion on no confidence to the AGM of the company. Ime sure The requizite number could be organised via the blogosphere.

    If she Is acused of a serious offence (viz hacking phone records) shouldn’t she be suspended whist the company investigates.

  20. Hmm how many HP share holders does it take to put a motion on no confidence to the AGM of the company. Ime sure The requizite number could be organised via the blogosphere.

    If she Is acused of a serious offence (viz hacking phone records) shouldn’t she be suspended whist the company investigates.

  21. How the mighty tumble! Does arrogance such as that which has allegedly been displayed by Patricia Dunn, permeate the halls of all who rise to such lofty heights in business? I survived Bernie Ebbers’s little billion dollar glitch, now HP staff have to suffer the indignity of their superiorsacting like the Untouchables.

    Shame on Patricia Dunn. She must do the decent thing and immediately resign all corporate directorships she holds.

    Naturally, Perkins must be re-instated forthwith.

  22. How the mighty tumble! Does arrogance such as that which has allegedly been displayed by Patricia Dunn, permeate the halls of all who rise to such lofty heights in business? I survived Bernie Ebbers’s little billion dollar glitch, now HP staff have to suffer the indignity of their superiorsacting like the Untouchables.

    Shame on Patricia Dunn. She must do the decent thing and immediately resign all corporate directorships she holds.

    Naturally, Perkins must be re-instated forthwith.

  23. The “HP Way” is a joke. I worked for them for a while. Although a company full of many great people, “The HP Way” means “Make No Waves, no matter what.”

    Incidently, we called The HP Way, the quality of being HP-like, as “HPness” :)

    This “make no waves” philosophy leads to great excesses as no one ever says anything negative

  24. The “HP Way” is a joke. I worked for them for a while. Although a company full of many great people, “The HP Way” means “Make No Waves, no matter what.”

    Incidently, we called The HP Way, the quality of being HP-like, as “HPness” :)

    This “make no waves” philosophy leads to great excesses as no one ever says anything negative

  25. “invading people’s privacy” — I was working 3 years in Nokia in Finland and I had zero privacy there. Practices like described above were present at Nokia and even worse. Maybe Robert you should also rethink your view of Nokia too, not just of HP….

  26. “invading people’s privacy” — I was working 3 years in Nokia in Finland and I had zero privacy there. Practices like described above were present at Nokia and even worse. Maybe Robert you should also rethink your view of Nokia too, not just of HP….

  27. “Now, the problem is putting Patricia’s fingerprints on it and convincing a jury that she was complicit (since she wasn’t the one who pretexted it’s a lot harder to prove what she knew and how she knew it). But, since a board member quit over this behavior it’s pretty clear she admitted to him how she found out about the leaking behavior.”

    You’re really reading between the lines here Robert.

    The board member you are talking about heads up the Nominating and Governance Committee. Instead of Dunn approaching them – the proper people to deal with this – she approached the head of the Audit Committee.

    (This is from the Dave Taylor article you linked to. Really, you should actually read these things instead of just skimming through them.)

    Doesn’t it seem much more likely that the board member quit over the already-known actions of Dunn like this?

    Another quote from the Taylor post:

    The Journal explains: “As it became clear the board was going to ask Mr. Keyworth to leave, Mr. Perkins got angry. Directors say he defended Mr. Keyworth as a valuable and longstanding director, and said a “good man” was being trashed by the process. He also attacked Ms. Dunn, saying, “Pattie, you betrayed me. You and I had an agreement we would handle this offline without disclosing the name of the leaker.”

    Let’s be straight here Robert – Dunn should be fired. If – IF – she’s found to have known her info was received through illegal means she should also be prosecuted to the full extent possible.

    But for you to jump to the conclusion that Keyworth quit because Dunn knew of illegalities is a clear overreaction on your part.

  28. “Now, the problem is putting Patricia’s fingerprints on it and convincing a jury that she was complicit (since she wasn’t the one who pretexted it’s a lot harder to prove what she knew and how she knew it). But, since a board member quit over this behavior it’s pretty clear she admitted to him how she found out about the leaking behavior.”

    You’re really reading between the lines here Robert.

    The board member you are talking about heads up the Nominating and Governance Committee. Instead of Dunn approaching them – the proper people to deal with this – she approached the head of the Audit Committee.

    (This is from the Dave Taylor article you linked to. Really, you should actually read these things instead of just skimming through them.)

    Doesn’t it seem much more likely that the board member quit over the already-known actions of Dunn like this?

    Another quote from the Taylor post:

    The Journal explains: “As it became clear the board was going to ask Mr. Keyworth to leave, Mr. Perkins got angry. Directors say he defended Mr. Keyworth as a valuable and longstanding director, and said a “good man” was being trashed by the process. He also attacked Ms. Dunn, saying, “Pattie, you betrayed me. You and I had an agreement we would handle this offline without disclosing the name of the leaker.”

    Let’s be straight here Robert – Dunn should be fired. If – IF – she’s found to have known her info was received through illegal means she should also be prosecuted to the full extent possible.

    But for you to jump to the conclusion that Keyworth quit because Dunn knew of illegalities is a clear overreaction on your part.

  29. The HP Way is Dunn, Over, Kaput

    Voice your disgust directly to the HP Board via this form.
    You know it’s going to be a bad day when… One of your most ardent Directors airs your dirty laundry in the public square. This isn’t just ANY old Board member either… Th…

  30. This all began as CNET stock spam written by Dawn Yoshitake-Kawamoto she writes provocative stories to move stock prices so anyone with advance notice can sell short and profit.

  31. This all began as CNET stock spam written by Dawn Yoshitake-Kawamoto she writes provocative stories to move stock prices so anyone with advance notice can sell short and profit.

  32. McCarthy tactics? Care to explain why you used that reference? Because its not analagous. McCarthy wasn’t investigating leakers. Now you could have used Nixonian and been more accurate.

  33. McCarthy tactics? Care to explain why you used that reference? Because its not analagous. McCarthy wasn’t investigating leakers. Now you could have used Nixonian and been more accurate.

  34. @10. Dude, you’re as naive as they come if you think things like this haven’t been done at Microsoft. Just because they may not have been splashed all over the front pages doesn’t mean MS is guiltless…

    Employers can do all kinds of things to protect their assest. Here’s an article about employee tracking
    http://news.com.com/Big+boss+is+watching/2100-1036_3-5379953.html

    So, no more sneaking out at lunch to hook up with the mistress anymore, I guess. ;-)

  35. @10. Dude, you’re as naive as they come if you think things like this haven’t been done at Microsoft. Just because they may not have been splashed all over the front pages doesn’t mean MS is guiltless…

    Employers can do all kinds of things to protect their assest. Here’s an article about employee tracking
    http://news.com.com/Big+boss+is+watching/2100-1036_3-5379953.html

    So, no more sneaking out at lunch to hook up with the mistress anymore, I guess. ;-)

  36. “@10. Dude, you’re as naive as they come if you think things like this haven’t been done at Microsoft. Just because they may not have been splashed all over the front pages doesn’t mean MS is guiltless…”

    Dude!! You know, if MS had done anything of this sort, it WOULD have been splashed all over the front pages. There’s no way MS can get away with something like this. Don’t you think it’s stupid to say that just because something of this sort happens it some company, it happens at MS too?

    And why this talk about boycotting HP? One person is not representative of the whole company. As long as Pat Dunn resigns, I’m okay with buying HP products.

  37. “@10. Dude, you’re as naive as they come if you think things like this haven’t been done at Microsoft. Just because they may not have been splashed all over the front pages doesn’t mean MS is guiltless…”

    Dude!! You know, if MS had done anything of this sort, it WOULD have been splashed all over the front pages. There’s no way MS can get away with something like this. Don’t you think it’s stupid to say that just because something of this sort happens it some company, it happens at MS too?

    And why this talk about boycotting HP? One person is not representative of the whole company. As long as Pat Dunn resigns, I’m okay with buying HP products.

  38. There sure is a lot of hedging in these reports about what may or may have not been illegal, which just goes to show how business is moving faster than our society’s ability to keep up with all the legalities involved.

    That’s why a common sense understanding of ethics and morality is so necessary. But we’re not teaching the former and we’re denegrating the latter. I have an MBA and “ethics” was a one hour discussion one day during all my time in graduate business school. Talk about “morality” in the workplace and you’ll be shunned as part of the wacko right wing religious fringe.

  39. There sure is a lot of hedging in these reports about what may or may have not been illegal, which just goes to show how business is moving faster than our society’s ability to keep up with all the legalities involved.

    That’s why a common sense understanding of ethics and morality is so necessary. But we’re not teaching the former and we’re denegrating the latter. I have an MBA and “ethics” was a one hour discussion one day during all my time in graduate business school. Talk about “morality” in the workplace and you’ll be shunned as part of the wacko right wing religious fringe.

  40. Disgusting. White crimes exist because there is no blood. Don’t unclench your bite Robert. Ahhh see how transparency works–you just can’t hide anymore so you might as well be nice.

  41. Disgusting. White crimes exist because there is no blood. Don’t unclench your bite Robert. Ahhh see how transparency works–you just can’t hide anymore so you might as well be nice.

  42. Dave: >You’re really reading between the lines here Robert.

    OK, let’s go down that path. Let’s assume that Pat didn’t know that she was breaking the law when she hired the private investigators and handed over board members social security and phone numbers.

    Well, then, she should be fired for incompetence. Anyone who is in such a high position should have a pretty good idea that doing such a thing is illegal. At least I’d hope that board members have a pretty decent grasp of the law since they have to deal with stuff a lot more arcane than that.

  43. Dave: >You’re really reading between the lines here Robert.

    OK, let’s go down that path. Let’s assume that Pat didn’t know that she was breaking the law when she hired the private investigators and handed over board members social security and phone numbers.

    Well, then, she should be fired for incompetence. Anyone who is in such a high position should have a pretty good idea that doing such a thing is illegal. At least I’d hope that board members have a pretty decent grasp of the law since they have to deal with stuff a lot more arcane than that.

  44. >One person is not representative of the whole company.

    Actually, here I totally disagree. She’s the chairwoman of the board. Not just some lowly employee who made a mistake.

    As long as she’s kept in her position HP implicitly agrees with her actions. The minute she’s removed I’ll agree with you, though. That’s how HP will send a signal that they don’t agree with Pat’s actions.

  45. >One person is not representative of the whole company.

    Actually, here I totally disagree. She’s the chairwoman of the board. Not just some lowly employee who made a mistake.

    As long as she’s kept in her position HP implicitly agrees with her actions. The minute she’s removed I’ll agree with you, though. That’s how HP will send a signal that they don’t agree with Pat’s actions.

  46. I agree – the code of ethics for any company has to be enforced at the very top, otherwise the entire organization begins to fall apart.

    That’s funny, too, because I just got an EPP email from them…

  47. I agree – the code of ethics for any company has to be enforced at the very top, otherwise the entire organization begins to fall apart.

    That’s funny, too, because I just got an EPP email from them…

  48. Carly Fiorina leak redux…

    But just another day in the Valley…

    “…unlawful conduct, improper board procedures, breakdowns in corporate governance…”

    Real irony in this story, is Larry Babbio, being a victim of pretexting.

    Ole skueel it was called ‘social engineering’, now thanks to the new HP scandal, a new buzzword (pretexting) enters into the mainstream blood line.

  49. Carly Fiorina leak redux…

    But just another day in the Valley…

    “…unlawful conduct, improper board procedures, breakdowns in corporate governance…”

    Real irony in this story, is Larry Babbio, being a victim of pretexting.

    Ole skueel it was called ‘social engineering’, now thanks to the new HP scandal, a new buzzword (pretexting) enters into the mainstream blood line.

  50. Robert: “As long as she’s kept in her position HP implicitly agrees with her actions. The minute she’s removed I’ll agree with you, though. That’s how HP will send a signal that they don’t agree with Pat’s actions.”

    HP can’t just fire her. Dunn and the other directors are elected by the shareholders, so any attempt to remove her would have to come from that direction. Of course the board can exert social pressure; if they are unable or unwilling to force a change behind the scenes, then I think we may well see a shareholder resolution on her removal.

  51. Robert: “As long as she’s kept in her position HP implicitly agrees with her actions. The minute she’s removed I’ll agree with you, though. That’s how HP will send a signal that they don’t agree with Pat’s actions.”

    HP can’t just fire her. Dunn and the other directors are elected by the shareholders, so any attempt to remove her would have to come from that direction. Of course the board can exert social pressure; if they are unable or unwilling to force a change behind the scenes, then I think we may well see a shareholder resolution on her removal.

  52. I used to work there at some point and ironically all employees had to undergo an Ethics course every six months. So, I guess for employees it was necessary, but not for the Big Kahunas? Totally unethical behavior on her part and now I know why Fiorina got $20 odd million when she was fired. Dunn should be fired without a single penny in severance and HP should sue her for damage to their reputation and seek money from her.

  53. I used to work there at some point and ironically all employees had to undergo an Ethics course every six months. So, I guess for employees it was necessary, but not for the Big Kahunas? Totally unethical behavior on her part and now I know why Fiorina got $20 odd million when she was fired. Dunn should be fired without a single penny in severance and HP should sue her for damage to their reputation and seek money from her.

  54. @25 If it happened at the board level, I agree. But it is naive to think it doesn’t happen. MS has huge problems with leaks. I gotta believe they do EVERYTHING possible to track them down and deal with them. And I mean everything. The only reason we heard about this is because of the amaturish way the board member when about, and because it was a board member. Again, to think this doesn’t happen in a more clandestine manner in corporate america almost daily is naive.

  55. @25 If it happened at the board level, I agree. But it is naive to think it doesn’t happen. MS has huge problems with leaks. I gotta believe they do EVERYTHING possible to track them down and deal with them. And I mean everything. The only reason we heard about this is because of the amaturish way the board member when about, and because it was a board member. Again, to think this doesn’t happen in a more clandestine manner in corporate america almost daily is naive.

  56. @29. In my best John Madden impression: “Here’s a guy that is a Vice President of a company that doesn’t understand how a Board of Directors is set up or works”

    Fire her? How does one FIRE a board member?

  57. @29. In my best John Madden impression: “Here’s a guy that is a Vice President of a company that doesn’t understand how a Board of Directors is set up or works”

    Fire her? How does one FIRE a board member?

  58. I am still reading various articles about this. The problem I’m having is overcoming my own disbelief. I keep thinking that no one could have judgment as bad as Patricia Dunn has displayed. I realize that has already been disproven, but my mind keeps saying ‘no way.’ Then there is the impotent response of other board members. These peoople are leaders?

  59. I am still reading various articles about this. The problem I’m having is overcoming my own disbelief. I keep thinking that no one could have judgment as bad as Patricia Dunn has displayed. I realize that has already been disproven, but my mind keeps saying ‘no way.’ Then there is the impotent response of other board members. These peoople are leaders?

  60. LayZ: you walk her to the door and say “thank you for your service you aren’t needed here anymore.”

    She’s getting compensation for her role, right? You just stop the compensation. In my book that’s called “getting fired.” And, yes, board members can be fired. Maybe not in the same way I’d be fired, yes, but it was clear that she was trying to fire another board member. So why can’t I call on the board to do the same thing she did? What, just cause I’m not a billionaire I can’t say that she should be removed from the board? Got it.

    Maybe it’ll take a stockholder meeting to do it, but it’s the right thing to do.

  61. LayZ: you walk her to the door and say “thank you for your service you aren’t needed here anymore.”

    She’s getting compensation for her role, right? You just stop the compensation. In my book that’s called “getting fired.” And, yes, board members can be fired. Maybe not in the same way I’d be fired, yes, but it was clear that she was trying to fire another board member. So why can’t I call on the board to do the same thing she did? What, just cause I’m not a billionaire I can’t say that she should be removed from the board? Got it.

    Maybe it’ll take a stockholder meeting to do it, but it’s the right thing to do.

  62. Is this because she’s a woman? :ducks:
    :( Now I will have to throw out my inkjet printer. They should have some warranties for printers against such incidents.

  63. Is this because she’s a woman? :ducks:
    :( Now I will have to throw out my inkjet printer. They should have some warranties for printers against such incidents.

  64. Just for a small sense of perspective. The chair of an international corp spying, and quite possibly breaking the local law by the act of spying, on members of the same corp board is bad. Very bad. But president of a nation setting up secret prisons with no judge, no jury, no police and not even a lame legal loophole like g-bay to hide behind , http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/5321606.stm, that’s a whole new super supreme league of bad.

    If that head of state is in charge of your country, and you haven’t called for a vote of no confidence (or equivalent), shame on you.

  65. Just for a small sense of perspective. The chair of an international corp spying, and quite possibly breaking the local law by the act of spying, on members of the same corp board is bad. Very bad. But president of a nation setting up secret prisons with no judge, no jury, no police and not even a lame legal loophole like g-bay to hide behind , http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/5321606.stm, that’s a whole new super supreme league of bad.

    If that head of state is in charge of your country, and you haven’t called for a vote of no confidence (or equivalent), shame on you.

  66. Robert/LayZ

    I commented earlier but i though id come back as i have some background in HR (lets just say i’me not a civilian in this area) and I’ve seen people do fucked up things before but this drives the coach out to the middle of the bridge and sets fire to it at both ends.

    Layz yeh shit goes on but an employee (ok she might only be a worker but lets not get to carried away with technicalities here) admits in front of a large number of people that they A broke criminal Law and B violated so many things in the Hp employees hand book its just not funny.

    She has effectively committed and admitted Gross Misconduct which is Instant Dismissal time – why the Senior non exec didn’t stop the meeting consult with HR and the CTO/Security and dismiss her on the spot. Or alternatively hand her a piece of paper and a pen – in the old days a bottle of whisky and a revolver might have been on offer as well.

  67. Robert/LayZ

    I commented earlier but i though id come back as i have some background in HR (lets just say i’me not a civilian in this area) and I’ve seen people do fucked up things before but this drives the coach out to the middle of the bridge and sets fire to it at both ends.

    Layz yeh shit goes on but an employee (ok she might only be a worker but lets not get to carried away with technicalities here) admits in front of a large number of people that they A broke criminal Law and B violated so many things in the Hp employees hand book its just not funny.

    She has effectively committed and admitted Gross Misconduct which is Instant Dismissal time – why the Senior non exec didn’t stop the meeting consult with HR and the CTO/Security and dismiss her on the spot. Or alternatively hand her a piece of paper and a pen – in the old days a bottle of whisky and a revolver might have been on offer as well.

  68. The best most of us can do is expose such bad behavior. It is up to those who control the votes of shareholders to act (which includes those representing most posting her probably – as anyone with an index mutual fund or large cap… probably owns some HP stock). If there are board members that were not in on it, they can either try and oust those that knew, or resign, or face the consequences.

    Most likely the consequences won’t be much, but if the behavior is not accepted and publicity continues eventually action will be taken. As soon as most significant thought leaders turn away though the effort will likely stop. Keep up the good work publicizing such bad behavior.

    One potential area for pressure against those who take such action is through other boards they sit on. And through places they might want to speak. If a business school brings her in to speak what does that say about their commitment to ethical behavior. I’m sure the school has classes on ethics but what do their actions say?

    From HP’s web site: “She also serves on the advisory board of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, as well as the conference board’s Center for Corporate Governance, and serves as the director and a member of the executive committee of Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco.” You might ask the conference board’s Center on Corporate Governance how to oust a board chair that has broken the law and violated the policies of the company and see what they suggest. I can’t imagine they would respond to me. But they might get enough pressure if you ask them (and others take on your cause) to be compelled to respond. I think that question is exactly the type of thing they are in business to address.

  69. The best most of us can do is expose such bad behavior. It is up to those who control the votes of shareholders to act (which includes those representing most posting her probably – as anyone with an index mutual fund or large cap… probably owns some HP stock). If there are board members that were not in on it, they can either try and oust those that knew, or resign, or face the consequences.

    Most likely the consequences won’t be much, but if the behavior is not accepted and publicity continues eventually action will be taken. As soon as most significant thought leaders turn away though the effort will likely stop. Keep up the good work publicizing such bad behavior.

    One potential area for pressure against those who take such action is through other boards they sit on. And through places they might want to speak. If a business school brings her in to speak what does that say about their commitment to ethical behavior. I’m sure the school has classes on ethics but what do their actions say?

    From HP’s web site: “She also serves on the advisory board of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, as well as the conference board’s Center for Corporate Governance, and serves as the director and a member of the executive committee of Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco.” You might ask the conference board’s Center on Corporate Governance how to oust a board chair that has broken the law and violated the policies of the company and see what they suggest. I can’t imagine they would respond to me. But they might get enough pressure if you ask them (and others take on your cause) to be compelled to respond. I think that question is exactly the type of thing they are in business to address.

  70. Scoble, HP can’t just up and fire her. You understand how a board works, right? She either has to resign or the board has to ask her to step down. HP’s CEO has little to no power here. For the record, I don’t disagree that she should step down for whatever good is left of the company. But, you can’t just summarily fire her. Try to be more rational in your thoughts.

    @43 Yes, it’s apparent you have only a little background in HR. She is not technically an employee of HP so what authority does HR have here?

  71. Scoble, HP can’t just up and fire her. You understand how a board works, right? She either has to resign or the board has to ask her to step down. HP’s CEO has little to no power here. For the record, I don’t disagree that she should step down for whatever good is left of the company. But, you can’t just summarily fire her. Try to be more rational in your thoughts.

    @43 Yes, it’s apparent you have only a little background in HR. She is not technically an employee of HP so what authority does HR have here?

  72. LayZ: well, the board should meet ASAP and fire her. Is that good enough? And, if they aren’t willing to do that, then the shareholders should boot the whole lot out and start over from scratch.

  73. LayZ: well, the board should meet ASAP and fire her. Is that good enough? And, if they aren’t willing to do that, then the shareholders should boot the whole lot out and start over from scratch.

  74. Hmm. Sounds like one of the ‘good old boys’ is crying foul. What a bunch of silliness. This closed society of directors/CEOs/Chairmen often plays above the law. This time, one of their own is crying like a baby. How many times in his life has he played above the law and not been caught? How can I feel sorry for these people who think they are different from the rest of us? They should all be fired and prosecuted, just like a rank and file employee would be for the same act.

  75. Hmm. Sounds like one of the ‘good old boys’ is crying foul. What a bunch of silliness. This closed society of directors/CEOs/Chairmen often plays above the law. This time, one of their own is crying like a baby. How many times in his life has he played above the law and not been caught? How can I feel sorry for these people who think they are different from the rest of us? They should all be fired and prosecuted, just like a rank and file employee would be for the same act.

  76. LayZ

    I take the point shes not an employee – probaly a worker (or the equivelent in us terminaology) but I dont think the boad members are above the law or company policys.

    The board member of that casino firm that got arrested was sacked PDQ I seem to recall.

    The HP board is obvoisly not workling the Non execs are suposed to look after the interests of the owners.

    There should ahve been a motion of no confidence at that meeting.

    ps I am avaible to stand as a non exec if your Listneing Tom ;-)

  77. LayZ

    I take the point shes not an employee – probaly a worker (or the equivelent in us terminaology) but I dont think the boad members are above the law or company policys.

    The board member of that casino firm that got arrested was sacked PDQ I seem to recall.

    The HP board is obvoisly not workling the Non execs are suposed to look after the interests of the owners.

    There should ahve been a motion of no confidence at that meeting.

    ps I am avaible to stand as a non exec if your Listneing Tom ;-)

  78. Scobble you are really funny:

    “Now compare that to what Patricia Dunn, chairwoman at HP apparently did. Lying. Breaking the law. And invading people’s privacy.”

    Your nations administration is doing this now for nearly 8 years and nothing happens, after all it’s leadership by example that defines the values of a society. Forget about HP Way and all this other marketing blabla, its same as Fox News…. EMPTY words. Look at what they do and not at what they say and you will realize what person or nation you are facing. After all it’s just about MONEY in corporate america. The rest is just decoration, to make it not look too ugly.

  79. Scobble you are really funny:

    “Now compare that to what Patricia Dunn, chairwoman at HP apparently did. Lying. Breaking the law. And invading people’s privacy.”

    Your nations administration is doing this now for nearly 8 years and nothing happens, after all it’s leadership by example that defines the values of a society. Forget about HP Way and all this other marketing blabla, its same as Fox News…. EMPTY words. Look at what they do and not at what they say and you will realize what person or nation you are facing. After all it’s just about MONEY in corporate america. The rest is just decoration, to make it not look too ugly.

  80. LayZ, you’re correct – my use of the word “fire” was completely inappropriate. Replace it with the word “dismiss”, okay?

    Dunn has clearly damaged the reputation HP has and likely has hurt their stock price too. There are proper – and legal – procedures in place for HP to terminate the relationship. They should be actively seeking such avenues TODAY.

    Robert, my words about you reading in between the lines were not due to whay Dunn may – or may not – have done or known to be illegal.

    Rather, they were in your inference that Keyworth resigned because of this versus other actions of Dunn’s like bypassing proper channels.

  81. LayZ, you’re correct – my use of the word “fire” was completely inappropriate. Replace it with the word “dismiss”, okay?

    Dunn has clearly damaged the reputation HP has and likely has hurt their stock price too. There are proper – and legal – procedures in place for HP to terminate the relationship. They should be actively seeking such avenues TODAY.

    Robert, my words about you reading in between the lines were not due to whay Dunn may – or may not – have done or known to be illegal.

    Rather, they were in your inference that Keyworth resigned because of this versus other actions of Dunn’s like bypassing proper channels.

  82. Alot of uninformed, stupid people here who don’t seem to read.

    I’ll put all of us in the chairpersons position:

    What would you do if you had a person leaking confidential information on your BOD and you didn’t know who it was?

    Would you:

    a) try to find out who it was.
    b) ignore it because the stock is doing well.

    If you answered a), would you:

    a) Ask each of the people whether they had leaked information

    b) go to a seance and ask a spirit.

    If you answered a) and nobody stepped forward and admitted leaking anything would you:

    a) create an outside committee that not even you were on (because you may be the source of the leak) and ask them to use all legal means to investigate the source of the leak.

    b) go to a seance.

    As I read the reports, patricia dunn chose a) in all cases. I assume that most of the angry comments on here would prefer seances.

    As a sidenote, the real bad guys in this are the leaker and his best buddy perkins (who had to know of the leaks) who put HP in this position to begin with.

  83. Alot of uninformed, stupid people here who don’t seem to read.

    I’ll put all of us in the chairpersons position:

    What would you do if you had a person leaking confidential information on your BOD and you didn’t know who it was?

    Would you:

    a) try to find out who it was.
    b) ignore it because the stock is doing well.

    If you answered a), would you:

    a) Ask each of the people whether they had leaked information

    b) go to a seance and ask a spirit.

    If you answered a) and nobody stepped forward and admitted leaking anything would you:

    a) create an outside committee that not even you were on (because you may be the source of the leak) and ask them to use all legal means to investigate the source of the leak.

    b) go to a seance.

    As I read the reports, patricia dunn chose a) in all cases. I assume that most of the angry comments on here would prefer seances.

    As a sidenote, the real bad guys in this are the leaker and his best buddy perkins (who had to know of the leaks) who put HP in this position to begin with.

  84. bwu: I’m not gonna stick up for the leaker either, but he didn’t break any laws that I know of. He also didn’t hand over social security numbers of his fellow board members and tell a private firm to go digging.

  85. bwu: I’m not gonna stick up for the leaker either, but he didn’t break any laws that I know of. He also didn’t hand over social security numbers of his fellow board members and tell a private firm to go digging.

  86. Robert,

    The question is, what did she know? She requested that a secret investigation of all boardmembers be initiated. She did not want to know the details of the investigation because she herself was being investigated, and, incidentally, all the other board members knew that there was a secret investigation going on and agreed to do it. If the investigation resorted to illegal and/or unethical means (i think pretexting is legal but definitely unethical) and yet she did not know any of the details, is she culpable? If the other board members (including Keyworth and Perkins) knew about the investigation, arent they culpable as well?

    Perkins wanted an aggressive investigation (including a lie detector test for all board members) “until” he found out it was his buddy. Then he changed his tune and now he is trying to rewrite history.

    A real bad apple as far as I can see–along with his leaker buddy.

  87. Robert,

    The question is, what did she know? She requested that a secret investigation of all boardmembers be initiated. She did not want to know the details of the investigation because she herself was being investigated, and, incidentally, all the other board members knew that there was a secret investigation going on and agreed to do it. If the investigation resorted to illegal and/or unethical means (i think pretexting is legal but definitely unethical) and yet she did not know any of the details, is she culpable? If the other board members (including Keyworth and Perkins) knew about the investigation, arent they culpable as well?

    Perkins wanted an aggressive investigation (including a lie detector test for all board members) “until” he found out it was his buddy. Then he changed his tune and now he is trying to rewrite history.

    A real bad apple as far as I can see–along with his leaker buddy.

  88. bwu: there’s a big difference between using lawful methods (and a voluntary lie detector test IS lawful) and doing private snooping and breaking into people’s privacy (including that of reporters). The fact that you can’t see the difference and that you justify the means because of the end mean we can’t have any further conversation on this issue. You’re wrong. Patricia is wrong. She’s a cancer here and the fact that you think the means justify the ends demonstrates why this cancer needs to be purged.

  89. bwu: there’s a big difference between using lawful methods (and a voluntary lie detector test IS lawful) and doing private snooping and breaking into people’s privacy (including that of reporters). The fact that you can’t see the difference and that you justify the means because of the end mean we can’t have any further conversation on this issue. You’re wrong. Patricia is wrong. She’s a cancer here and the fact that you think the means justify the ends demonstrates why this cancer needs to be purged.

  90. Robert,

    Do not put words in my mouth, read what I wrote!
    I am not wrong because I have just stated facts as opposed to opinions (there is a difference).

    opinion
    1) i don’t think the means justified the ends–neither did patricia. What was done was clearly unethical (in my view), and possibly illegal.

    fact
    2) The board was informed when the chair authorized an investigation and agreed that it needed to be done. They were apprised that the investigation was ongoing at every board meeting. They (including the chair) did not know the details.

    question
    3)Who is culpable?

    1) nobody on the board
    2)jsut the chair
    3) the entire board

  91. Robert,

    Do not put words in my mouth, read what I wrote!
    I am not wrong because I have just stated facts as opposed to opinions (there is a difference).

    opinion
    1) i don’t think the means justified the ends–neither did patricia. What was done was clearly unethical (in my view), and possibly illegal.

    fact
    2) The board was informed when the chair authorized an investigation and agreed that it needed to be done. They were apprised that the investigation was ongoing at every board meeting. They (including the chair) did not know the details.

    question
    3)Who is culpable?

    1) nobody on the board
    2)jsut the chair
    3) the entire board