September 7, 2006

the damage is Dunn

Update 09/08/06: According to the WSJ ($), "H-P CHAIRMAN DUNN SAID she was "appalled" by the tactics used in the board's probe of media leaks. She has no plans to resign, but would step down if asked by the board."


I don't see how Patricia Dunn can avoid resigning from HP's board at this point. Regardless of the outcome of the California AG's investigation, Dunn's own integrity has been compromised, along with that of the rest of the board and increasingly the entire HP company. Public opinion in the press and blogs is running overwhelmingly against her, and is building to outrage with the latest disclosure that nine reporters' phone records were also targeted. Could she fight to keep her seat? Sure, and maybe she could even win that battle. But at what cost in reputation, and what impact on the brand, from a long and public boardroom storm? For the good of the company she serves, and as a good and principled leader in her own right, it is time for her to do the right thing.

This analysis on Groklaw makes me concerned about where else the trail will lead. Are other members of the Board similarly compromised? Personnel inside HP? It's all speculation at this point, but when you pull on loose threads things can unravel badly.

CNet has pdf copies of two additional email letters from Tom Perkins to Ann Baskins and the HP Board dated July 18th and 28th, which are further revealing of the backstory.

Ugh. I need to go wash my hands.

As always, these are my own opinions and not those of my employer.

Posted by Gene at September 7, 2006 11:57 PM | TrackBack