to Crank Calls, HP’s CEO Weirdness Continues
we left Hewlett-Packard, the computer products company had seen enough
of boss lady Carly Fiorina, who left the lasting impression of herself
prancing on stage with Gwen Stefani while a product was launching but
sales and shareholder value were tanking.
No more of
this! So said the board. We need a serious boss lady.
got one. Her name is Patricia Dunn, and she is very serious. So serious,
in fact, that when she suspected an HP board member was leaking
confidential company information to a member of the news media, she
resolved to do something about it.
And what an
interesting something she – or someone – came up with.
You want to
find out who’s talking? Get their phone records.
How do we
do that, boss?
Hewlett-Packard! We just ask and they give it to us!
Uh, boss .
let’s think of something. I know! We call the phone company, pretend to
be our board members and all these reporters they might be talking to,
then say, “So will you give me their, I mean my, personal phone records
please? Why? Oh, no reason.”
That’ll work. Wait. That did work!
investigators not only got the phone records of the board members, but
of nine journalists as well – writers for the Wall Street Journal,
Business Week, CNET.com and several other major organizations.
self: Call Vinnie’s Pizza. Identify self as Bill Gates. Order 56 pizzas
and say “Put it on my tab.” But I digress.)
Dunn actually came up with this idea, or merely allowed it, or merely
failed to question where the information came from, she’s clearly no
Carly. You pull nonsense when Patricia’s running the show, the HP
Gestapo is put on the case.
Unfortunately for Dunn, now Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) is on the case.
Sen. Durbin has been known to wax indignant over mistreatment of
terrorists that never even happened. Imagine what he’s going to do when
you crank-call the phone company and trick them into telling you stuff
you’re not supposed to know.
he’ll . . . write a nasty letter to the attorney general!
the California attorney general and the Federal Communications
Commission are starting their own investigations.
Well, it’s scary enough for the HP board, which is now longing for the
days when its biggest problem was a CEO who thought she could do
harmonies for No Doubt.
conferenced via phone and decided that Dunn
is done. Via phone? You’d think they’d meet in a coffee shop or
something, I mean, considering, but I suppose the creamers could be
Oh, did I
mention that HP’s unusual investigation appears to have nabbed the
culprit? Apparently George Keyworth II is the board member who was
giving away company secrets to the media. The company is punishing him
by not letting him run for re-election when his term is up. But in the
meantime, he got to have a role in the ouster of the Chairwoman who oversaw his
exposure – all by way of the weirdest corporate investigation since they
put Prince Albert In A Can.
you have Patricia Dunn running your company? Well let her out!
© 2006 North Star
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