Dunn apologizes and steps down from HP board

I just arrived at Oakland Airport and my phone was filling up with email saying that HP had announced a decision. On first look this is a good first step, but I wonder if this board will be able to do anything for months? After all, the leaker is still on the board. So is Patricia. I can’t imagine that those two will see eye-to-eye on much. Anyway, at least we can get on with other things.

For instance, I’m judging the Made-in-Express contest entries this morning. Some really interesting things there. I’ll decline commenting until the winners are announced.

UPDATE: my readers are reacting VERY negatively to this news. I’m going to absorb a bit more about what was just announced and think through my reaction beyond what I post above. Zoli, for instance, calls this “lame half steps.”

UPDATE 2: I missed that the guy who leaked stuff, George Keyworth, has resigned from the board as well. More reaction on TechMeme.

39 thoughts on “Dunn apologizes and steps down from HP board

  1. @Scott:

    thanks for responding (I was diving in Malaysia so didn’t catch your comment until now). If you ever read this thread (cocomment user?), would you mind expanding on the Britain point?

  2. @Scott:

    thanks for responding (I was diving in Malaysia so didn’t catch your comment until now). If you ever read this thread (cocomment user?), would you mind expanding on the Britain point?

  3. @Michiel:

    “I don’t mean to be rude, but all you US guys so upset about the privacy implications should pay mind to what your government has been doing since 9/11. And you should probably start routinely encrypting ALL communications of importance with heavy-duty crypto.”

    Yes, you are right about that. Unfortunately there will come a time when just having encrypted data will be enough to call a person a terrorist and hold them indefinitely without charging them first. My understanding is that’s already the case in Britain.

  4. @Michiel:

    “I don’t mean to be rude, but all you US guys so upset about the privacy implications should pay mind to what your government has been doing since 9/11. And you should probably start routinely encrypting ALL communications of importance with heavy-duty crypto.”

    Yes, you are right about that. Unfortunately there will come a time when just having encrypted data will be enough to call a person a terrorist and hold them indefinitely without charging them first. My understanding is that’s already the case in Britain.

  5. “We currently have sufficient evidence to indict people both within Hewlett-Packard Co. as well as contractors on the outside,” Lockyer said in an interview aired late Tuesday on PBS’ “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.”

    Notice the use of the plural PEOPLE…

    Gotta pressy source saying Lockyer is going to the mat on this, he wants to Eliot Spitzer himself. If you are sick of the coverage already, prepare to be even sicker…and then some. Spizter and Lockyer did that joint Microsoft statement, it kinda went fizzle, given the next 24 hours.

    http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2001/sep/sep10a_01.html – Notice the date.

    But point being, Spitzer and Lockyer are joint at the hip on a number of issues.

  6. “We currently have sufficient evidence to indict people both within Hewlett-Packard Co. as well as contractors on the outside,” Lockyer said in an interview aired late Tuesday on PBS’ “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.”

    Notice the use of the plural PEOPLE…

    Gotta pressy source saying Lockyer is going to the mat on this, he wants to Eliot Spitzer himself. If you are sick of the coverage already, prepare to be even sicker…and then some. Spizter and Lockyer did that joint Microsoft statement, it kinda went fizzle, given the next 24 hours.

    http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2001/sep/sep10a_01.html – Notice the date.

    But point being, Spitzer and Lockyer are joint at the hip on a number of issues.

  7. My first reaction is: Finally, perhaps we can now move on. My second reaction is: they didn’t go far enough and I don’t think this move’ll win back the trust of the public which they so obviously lost here. My third reaction is: Did any of you expect ethical behaviour from a corporation? I’m serious. The sole obligation of any corporation is to make a profit for its shareholders. Period. And you act all surprised when these things act like psychos and attract likewise people? Yes, yes, HP, grassroots start, two guys, garage, blablabla. It’s a corporation. Period.

    I don’t mean to be rude, but all you US guys so upset about the privacy implications should pay mind to what your government has been doing since 9/11. And you should probably start routinely encrypting ALL communications of importance with heavy-duty crypto.

  8. My first reaction is: Finally, perhaps we can now move on. My second reaction is: they didn’t go far enough and I don’t think this move’ll win back the trust of the public which they so obviously lost here. My third reaction is: Did any of you expect ethical behaviour from a corporation? I’m serious. The sole obligation of any corporation is to make a profit for its shareholders. Period. And you act all surprised when these things act like psychos and attract likewise people? Yes, yes, HP, grassroots start, two guys, garage, blablabla. It’s a corporation. Period.

    I don’t mean to be rude, but all you US guys so upset about the privacy implications should pay mind to what your government has been doing since 9/11. And you should probably start routinely encrypting ALL communications of importance with heavy-duty crypto.

  9. This is one of the first times we have really had a look at what goes on inside the Board Rooms of big companies and all our worst fears have been realized.

    This is why Ford, GM, Lucent and AT&T took their eye off the ball, their Board members know more about fine wine then any technology.

    The HP Board is much like Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI their having a great time as the company downsizes.

  10. This is one of the first times we have really had a look at what goes on inside the Board Rooms of big companies and all our worst fears have been realized.

    This is why Ford, GM, Lucent and AT&T took their eye off the ball, their Board members know more about fine wine then any technology.

    The HP Board is much like Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI their having a great time as the company downsizes.

  11. Paul: this whole board smells. Sigh. I guess they are hoping we just go on and pay attention to all the new cool stuff from Apple. Well, the shareholders seem to like this board (stock is up). So, I don’t expect to see any more changes.

  12. Paul: this whole board smells. Sigh. I guess they are hoping we just go on and pay attention to all the new cool stuff from Apple. Well, the shareholders seem to like this board (stock is up). So, I don’t expect to see any more changes.

  13. Dunn said that the whole Board knew about they were obtaining private phone records and that the leaker could have come foward at any time.

  14. Dunn said that the whole Board knew about they were obtaining private phone records and that the leaker could have come foward at any time.

  15. Only a week after news broke that an investigation that she instigated led to the possible illegal procurement of phone records for board members and several journalists, Dunn announced Hurd will succeed her as chairman in January. She will remain a director. Meanwhile director George Keyworth, who acknowledged that he was the source of news leaks that started the scandal last year, resigned from HP’s board.

    No, they won’t both be on the board at the same time. That’s from the links in Google news that you linked to, by the way.

  16. Only a week after news broke that an investigation that she instigated led to the possible illegal procurement of phone records for board members and several journalists, Dunn announced Hurd will succeed her as chairman in January. She will remain a director. Meanwhile director George Keyworth, who acknowledged that he was the source of news leaks that started the scandal last year, resigned from HP’s board.

    No, they won’t both be on the board at the same time. That’s from the links in Google news that you linked to, by the way.

  17. There isn’t anyone in the company or on the board that can just fire anyone on the board. The board is elected by the shareholders. The leaker refused to resign. However, the leaker is not being nominated for re-election (though shareholders could write him in).

    Sometimes there are shareholder actions to intervene — Disney and HP had those, remember — but that usually involves getting together a lot of proxies somehow. I don’t see that as very likely in this instance.

    I suppose indictments would cause removals, but we are not going to know about that for a while, and it might not touch the board either.

    I find it interesting that leaking doesn’t have more-serious sanctions in this case. It’s not just like someone violating an NDA, it is more like breaching confidentiality about business and market information. The SEC would have a concern about how that could end up impacting trading and stock prices, which is why, I imagine, that the fact of the leaking had to be disclosed to the SEC in one of HPs reports.

    At the same time, I do not condone the approach that was taken to identify and halt the leakage.

  18. There isn’t anyone in the company or on the board that can just fire anyone on the board. The board is elected by the shareholders. The leaker refused to resign. However, the leaker is not being nominated for re-election (though shareholders could write him in).

    Sometimes there are shareholder actions to intervene — Disney and HP had those, remember — but that usually involves getting together a lot of proxies somehow. I don’t see that as very likely in this instance.

    I suppose indictments would cause removals, but we are not going to know about that for a while, and it might not touch the board either.

    I find it interesting that leaking doesn’t have more-serious sanctions in this case. It’s not just like someone violating an NDA, it is more like breaching confidentiality about business and market information. The SEC would have a concern about how that could end up impacting trading and stock prices, which is why, I imagine, that the fact of the leaking had to be disclosed to the SEC in one of HPs reports.

    At the same time, I do not condone the approach that was taken to identify and halt the leakage.

  19. Clarification. She did not step down from the HP BOARD. Rather, she stepped down from the position of Chairwoman of the Board. As of now, she will remain ON the board as a director.

  20. Clarification. She did not step down from the HP BOARD. Rather, she stepped down from the position of Chairwoman of the Board. As of now, she will remain ON the board as a director.

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