HP Board Spying Not Just Limited To HP Board Members

from the goner dept

The story of HP’s Patricia Dunn spying on the company’s own board members is only getting worse. Not only did Dunn have private investigators engage in fraud to get board members’ phone records, but apparently they also monitored the phone records of the News.com reporter on the other end of the leaks. Any justification or legal standing for spying on the board certainly doesn’t apply to spying on a reporter that is entitled to seek out and quote anonymous sources. If there’s a clock ticking away the seconds until Patricia Dunn is forced out, it just started going a little faster.


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Comments on “HP Board Spying Not Just Limited To HP Board Members”

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15 Comments
Greg Andrew says:

I haven’t seen any evidence that Ms. Dunn – or anyone else on the board – knew of the methods of investigation before the board got the results. And not only didn’t Ms. Dunn hire the investigators herself, she’s three steps removed from the investigation. She ordered HP’s general counsel to investigate. Counsel hired a consulting firm. The consulting firm hired the investigators. So don’t count on any of HP’s board getting kicked out because of this unless there’s evidence to directly tie them to endorsing illegal activities.

The legality of pretexting when it is not used to steal something of monetary value is also quite unclear.

eb says:

Re: Re:

Apparently it’s not questionable to the attorney general of California, who thinks it’s worth a look. And I would like to know how Ms. Dunn or the HP counsel thought they would obtain the desired information without obtaining access to people’s private phone records, an ethically questionable and possibly (under California law) illegal activity.

Anonymous Coward says:

Hey, if the government can do it, why cant our corporations? HP could argue (about as convincingly) that this leak constituted a grave threat against their rights, their love of freedom and liberty. Danger! Danger! Terrorists in the bushes. Yap, yap, yap. Oh my gosh, Islamic facism! Yap, yap, yap. Boo! Scared yet? Yap, yap, yap, yap, ya… zzzzzzzzzzzzz….. I am sooooo bored right now…

Greg Andrew says:

nonuser – No one’s claimed that she didn’t know the methodology of the investigators after the investigation; the whole board knew. But a corporation isn’t a court; they don’t just ignore evidence because it’s illegally obtained. And they received assurances from their lead outside counsel that the information was legally obtained. I suspect that outside attorney may get into some trouble here.

There are similarities to the Pecorino case in Hollywood, and in that case, no one but the investigator himself has gotten in any trouble beyond embarrasment.

HPway says:

HP Board lacks integrity

The spying scandal is a sorry comedown for a company that HAD a reputation for excellence and integrity.

The board’s actions have been more of the CYA variety than of truthfulness.

* WHAT PHONE RECORDS? The board played dumb when they realized that directors’ phone records were used in the leak investigation. No one asked, “How did we get these records?”

* BOARD MEMBER RESIGNED FOR “PERSONAL REASONS”: Perkins resigned in May. HP resisted proper reporting to the SEC of the reasons for Perkins’ resignation until the past few days.

* STONEWALLING: Dunn and Hurd have made only weak apologies. Dunn has been far more strident about tracing the leaks from an individual than about the corporate breech of integrity in fraudulent investigations.

* PROTECTING CRIMINALS: HP has refused to identify the private investigation firm or the third party investigators who are suspected of doing the pretexting.

* WEAK APPEASEMENT: Recent announcement of Board changes are weak.
1. Dunn remains chair for 4 MONTHS.
2. She remains on the Board.
3. She will be replaced by Mark Hurd, who is also CEO and President.
4. The Board will backtracking on its new rule, that the Chair and CEO would be different people. This weakens HP’s Corporate Governance.

If the Board had any integrity, it would have acted…
* immediately, upon learning of wrong doing
* without coverup, without excuses
* without compromise to the offenders

The Board must demand Dunn’s resignation from the Board. (There will be more legal fallout for HP if she remains, than if she leaves and HP cooperates fully with the California State, Federal, Congressional, SEC and FBI investigations).

The Board needs to have a non-executive Chair. There needs to be a check on the CEO.

The Board must make a public statement, repudiating in the strongest terms, the tactics used by its private investigators, and reiterating its stand on corporate integrity.

The Board must take ACTION to convince the business and investment community that it is determined to regain the mantle of integrity and excellence it once had under Hewlett and Packard.

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