HP’s Woes Mount

It goes from bad to worse in Palo Alto. Red Herring (some good reporting by Brian Caulfield) writes today that HP’s soon to be former Chairwoman Patricia Dunn told employees via videotape on Tuesday that the company spied on employees in the same manner that it snooped on its board of directors and a handful of top HP beat reporters and editors at BusinessWeek, CNET, etc.

What I find a bit shameful – and I have not seen the business press pick up on this theme yet – is that Mark Hurd, who deserves great, continued praise for engineering the HP turnaround (despite the fact that you get the feeling he hates the spotlight or at least gives you that feeling) really does not need the additional responsibilities that come with heading up the board of an $90 billion company. The Wall Street Journal’s Michael Connolly does note in his story yesterday that combining Hurd’s CEO and chairman’s title is “regressive” from a corporate governance perspective. Connolly speculates that this might be an interim move until things settle down next year. You have to wonder why Dunn is being allowed to hang around as Chairwoman until January.

This whole HP fiasco took on a local angle for us Bostonians as it was learned yesterday that the California attorney general’s office is investigating Boston-based Security Outsourcing Solutions, Inc.’s role in this whole matter. The Boston Globe reports they were denied access to this firm’s offices and phone calls were not returned. Now, there’s a shocker.


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