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HP's Dunn as Newsweek Cover Girl

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the not-a-good-week-for-her dept.

198

theodp writes "In The Boss Who Spied on Her Board, Newsweek likens HP Chairwoman Pattie Dunn's attempts to escape culpability with her I-knew-nothing defense to both a head of state, who wants 'plausible deniability' while ordering an assassination plot, and to Henry II, who had the Archbishop of Canterbury removed by simply muttering 'Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?' in front of his knights."

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Wow. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16076926)

I don't give, what the most erudite scholar would term, a "flying fuck." I'm that uninterested in this article.

But interested enough to post? (4, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#16076983)

The real sadness in all this is that HP started off as an icon of geekdom, "The American Way", and many other pure and virtuous themes. Since then it has been Carley'ed and generally fucked over in many ways.

At one stage, HP was "the best". They made the best calculators, best test equipment, best everything they touched. Their slide probably started with getting into the commodity PC industry (PCs and printers).

Re:But interested enough to post? (-1, Flamebait)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077113)

What does this stupid "scandal" have to do with product quality... oh the answer is nothing idiot. You live in a fucking fantasy world. Jack ass. TI made some of the best calculators on the market. HP made great products has always made great products, still makes absolutely kick-ass products... you're just taking the /.-line from about 2002 and regurgitating it here like it's a valid and serious position.

Re:But interested enough to post? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077132)

"The real sadness in all this is that HP started off as an icon of geekdom, "The American Way", and many other pure and virtuous themes."

So did Google.
So did Apple.

Need I continue?

It doesn't matter what you call it, the rotten stink of corruption is ubiquitous and certain to touch all our tech and media companies
eventually. The only solution is not to build attachments or loyalties in the first place. Reject all forms of brand identification and
have the courage to try new products and tools. When they start out with promises of "Do no evil" and "We are your friends" then sure, use their
services and products. As soon as they make the first mistake show no mercy. Dump them, move on and tell all your freinds to avoid them too.
It's like an unfaithful bitch, only a stupid or insecure person makes excuses for them and gives another chance. There is no room for sentimentality
or loyalty in todays business world. HP now are just another name on the scrapheap of old "tried but failed" companies along with Sony, Apple, Google, SCO, AT&T... these companies can never mend their corrupted reputations, they are walking dead, but there are always new players and fresh blood to put your money behind.

Re:But interested enough to post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077224)

You must lead a very lonely life. The sad thing is that you've probably convinced yourself it's by choice.

Re:But interested enough to post? (1)

bealzabobs_youruncle (971430) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077356)

You are that guy at work everyone avoids, aren't ya'?

Re:But interested enough to post? (1)

Millenniumman (924859) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077368)

In what world are Sony, Apple, and Google "walking dead"?

Re:But interested enough to post? (2, Insightful)

javakah (932230) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077168)

Hmm, look at it this way: Spying to find out who other people are calling, and justifying it by not having actually listened to the phone calls. Sound familiar? Sound like the logic of a certain President? Sadly, this actually is "The American Way" now.

Re:But interested enough to post? (1)

keesh (202812) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077529)

Whereas now, they're behaving in the "American Way" by doing anything they think they can get away with, screwing over customers and replacing innovation with corporate politics.

Re:But interested enough to post? (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077537)

Apparently the "soul" of HP left and now wants to be called "Agilent"

Re:Wow. (-1, Flamebait)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077099)

I agree... who gives a fuck? So some stuipid journalists got their phone records pulled by a few private investigators. So what? Slap her on the wrist... kick her out as Chairman... why the fuck is this front page news. Losing millions of customer records is front page news. Massively faulty products is front page news. Jack assing a few reports around isn't... unless you're a reporter and you think the whole fucking world revolves around you (media people are some of the most arrogant bastards on this planet).

Re:Wow. (1)

qzulla (600807) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077181)

My guess is ethics don't exist in your world.

Whatever.

qz

Re:Wow. (2, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077273)

SHE was ethical... as much as any slashdotter that gets cheated out of money. What all the slashdot hype misses is a fortune 500 board member was leaking info to the press... even after the entire board was notified of the investigation, this board member continuined to leak confidential employee reviews, and stratagy meeting results...

We all say people like Apple should "clean their house" and stop threatening reporters and such. Well that's exactly what she did. Just like the rough slashdotter hacks to get a mailing/email address of a spammer, RIAA member, etc... It wasn't even Dunn that offically authorized it... I'm sure she just said "dig up dirt" The goal's not to bring a lawsuit against this guy, it's to get him kicked off every board he serves on! Fact of the matter is that most of the board didn't object to the investigation. The spying would have been fine for an employee alleged to do the same things.. the one resigning board member was only upset that he was not allowed to "spin" the investigation because the CEO went over the board's head because THEY weren't faithful.

This whole thing is really blown out of proportion. It's really more of a "cheating husband" thing.... people with power, position, and money, couldn't be bothered to keep the privacy of fellow board members and employees.

No, she was not "ethical". (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077370)

SHE was ethical... as much as any slashdotter that gets cheated out of money.

The 2nd part of that makes no sense. And no, she was NOT ethical in this.
What all the slashdot hype misses is a fortune 500 board member was leaking info to the press... even after the entire board was notified of the investigation, this board member continuined to leak confidential employee reviews, and stratagy meeting results...

And?
Just because one person is not ethical does not make it ethical to take un-ethical actions to find that person.
We all say people like Apple should "clean their house" and stop threatening reporters and such. Well that's exactly what she did.

Nooooooo..... it seems that she STARTED investigating reporters. And people related to reporters.
It wasn't even Dunn that offically authorized it...

Drop the word "officially". Dunn authorized it. Dunn instigated it. It is Dunn's responsibility.
Fact of the matter is that most of the board didn't object to the investigation.

And so ... ?
If some other people don't object, that does not make it ethical.
The spying would have been fine for an employee alleged to do the same things.. the one resigning board member was only upset that he was not allowed to "spin" the investigation because the CEO went over the board's head because THEY weren't faithful.

No, it would not be. This type of behaviour is un-ethical no matter who the target is.
This whole thing is really blown out of proportion.

No, it has not.
I'm hoping that, because of this, the "pretexting" practice becomes a Federal Crime.
It's really more of a "cheating husband" thing.... people with power, position, and money, couldn't be bothered to keep the privacy of fellow board members and employees.

"couldn't be bothered"?
She hired a company to actively search for information.

And when she received their report, she did NOT ask how they came up with information that would not be available outside of a court order.

That is un-ethical.
She is un-ethical.

Re:Wow. (1)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077477)

Well one thing you dont seem to lack is plenty of cognitive dissonance. She was the one that ordered the investigators to proceed, the responsibility is on her for using the information they returned. I'd like to see call recordings and records between her and investigators and the space of time after they placed the calls to get the phone records illegally before and after to determins if they called her for specific authorization.

Perhaps you are an idiot or you must've voted for Bush, which explains your lack of comprehension of ethics.

Cheers.

Re:Wow. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077216)

The phone records of non-reporters were also alegedly targeted. Groklaw has some details [groklaw.net] .

Re:Wow. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077277)

This is front page news because if the heads of other boards got the idea of trying this, then the best resources that reporters have (namely inside leaks) would dry up drier than the Sahara. So the media wants this to blow up in Dunn's face like it was the Hindenburg. (I intended the hot air puns.)

In short this matters to the media, so they want it to matter to everyone else.

Re:Wow. (1)

BroncoInCalifornia (605476) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077545)

why the f*** is this front page news

This has become the media storm of the moment. There are more important things going on that are not getting much coverage. But our news media has been broken since at least O. J. Simpson.

Re:Wow. (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077754)

I disagree. Corporate governance is important. I'm pretty sure I couldn't get away with what Dunn has done. Now my question is whether my bosses could.

Huh? (0, Offtopic)

kingjames128 (981661) | more than 7 years ago | (#16076934)

Huh?

limelight dims (0, Troll)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 7 years ago | (#16076936)

Honestly from what I've seen of this, I think women in responsible positions are given a tougher time then men. She would find more support if she were a man. Regarless, obviously she's OUTTA of there. Cue up next woman for another position in the company ....

Re:limelight dims (4, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16076988)

I don't think it's a gender issue. They don't teach falling-down-on-your-own-sword in the business schools anymore. These days you get a brownie point for blaming the next guy/gal over and/or the news media. Taking personal responsibiity is so old school.

Re:limelight dims (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077019)

I understand your point. I don't take issue with falling down on your own sword. However I'm considering the after-effects of such a stunt. I'm making the point I think there is less love for the fallen in this circumstance because of a gender issue. The HP company itself seems to be old-school enough that such a gender issue could more easily arise. BTW, I'm not a woman, just a guy making what I think is an observation.

Re:limelight dims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077746)

GP's point is that in this instance, gender issue, as important as it may be, is simply incidental, due to the stark nature of the act. If the act was less blatant, gender bias may come into play more importantly, but not in this. You suggested, and I agree, that the incident will play to plenty of us confirming our gender bias, but that still is incidental to the main issue, which is the chairperson spying on directors and others fully knowing that it is via means that are most likely illegal and definitely unethical, yet trying to deny culpability. It's an unfortunate pattern that seems to have become the norm rather than the exception. Even in rare occasions where the head honchos do admit that the responsibility lies with them, they don't seem to feel that there should be consequence for it. Like admitting and admitting alone is some big sacrifice - "taking responsbility" means nothing.

Re:limelight dims (1)

Alfred, Lord Tennyso (975342) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077395)

They don't teach falling-down-on-your-own-sword in the business schools anymore.

I'm not convinced they ever did. It may be honorable, but it's rarely profitable, and "profit" has trumped "honor" in every history book I've ever read.

Re:limelight dims (1)

Psykosys (667390) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077481)

I also don't quite see where gender fits in to the highly critical media and corporate response to Dunn's actions. On the other hand, I doubt very much that you'd see the Slashdot headline "HP's Dunn as Newsweek Cover Boy" if she were a man...

Re:limelight dims (2, Insightful)

Denis The SQL Menace (1001608) | more than 7 years ago | (#16076994)

The board meeting is today, I predict she will step down after they ask her to "Dunn has no plans to step down but would do so if asked by the board, according to HP spokesman Ryan Donovan. HP's board plans to meet Sunday, he added."

Re:limelight dims (5, Insightful)

springbox (853816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077077)

Honestly from what I've seen of this, I think women in responsible positions are given a tougher time then men.

What this person did is just totally inexcusable and they came out looking like a total dimwit on top of it. Who cares about their sex? What this person did was WRONG and they deserved to be given a hard time. If a man (and again, why does it matter) did the same thing I can guarantee that people aren't going to hesitate to criticize him. So maybe the question you should ask is given two people of different sexes (hypothetically) who commit the exact same crime under the same circumstances, why should we treat them differently?

Re:limelight dims (1)

klubar (591384) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077301)

Whether legally wrong or not doesn't really matter. The standard that one's action should be judge by is "would you be ok if this decision was on the front page of the WSJ or Newsweek?" It's fortunate that the press still has some spine left and holds business leaders up to this standard.

Re:limelight dims (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077666)

>"would you be ok if this decision was on the front page of the WSJ or Newsweek?"

Well, Dunn seems to have made Newsweek so what's the problem?

Did she break any law, exactly? I have read nowhere that she did.

Re:limelight dims (1)

s.fontinalis (580601) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077808)

Do you live in a fishbowl? How, exactly, does a private citizen go about legally ordering covert surveillance of another private citizen? Would you feel differently if your employee decided to surveill your personal, out of work conversations?!

Buy Cheap M3ds Online! (0, Offtopic)

the children (1000266) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077306)

This is part of an experiment [slashdot.org] to see how this post mod'ed with a spammish title. You shouldn't mod this as troll if you have actually read this text...it's for science.

Re:limelight dims (1)

TheOtherChimeraTwin (697085) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077464)

Who cares about their sex?

I do, damnit, and I want details. The least Dunn can do is be as forthcoming as Perkins [amazon.com] . (And yes, that is the same Tom Perkins.)

Re:limelight dims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077092)

Funny, I was thinking that this is just more proof that women in powerful positions sometimes think that the only way to succeed is by being complete assholes, i.e., just like stereotypical men. Dunn should be booted out.

Re:limelight dims (1)

teflaime (738532) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077150)

So, you think men are more likely to get away with crime, eh? Or is it just that women are worse criminals?

Is there any justification for pretexting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077182)

I thought about it .. I mean, usually I can think of pros and cons of an issue.

* Abortion .. having a baby's a woman's choice/liberty .versus ..protecting a human life

* Free trade ..you shouldnt be sending out crap elsewhere when they may use it against you .versus. people should be able to buy and sell stuff from one another regardless of location

* Universal Health care .. everyone should be healthy vs. I aint payin' for fools who dont wanna work

* Immigration .. America has still has room in the inn, immigrants do work and improve QoL by providing services for less .versus. keep out the darkies, an immigrant took my job

* Iraq .. It's not good to kill people, or, Who cares about the Iraqis? .Versus. We need oil, or, Iraqis deserve to someday live in peace and security

Umm, but for pretexting there's: violating someone's privacy without judicial approval (read evidence of criminal activity) .. versus ... ????

Can someone plz tell me the justification .. MSNBC or something did a poll and turns out 12% of people participating think that pretexting should not be made illegal ... now if you were one of the 12% .. can you plz justify to me why you voted that way? I'm hoping it's because these people believe it's already illegal .. but anyway if you voted that way .. why did you do it?

If it's justifiable to "merely" violate someone's privacy, how would u feel about someone videotaping you or ur loved ones in the restroom ? Would you be ok with that .. why not .. if you've nothing to hide?

Illegal to pretext HP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077228)

What .. HP has had a woman CEO in thge past .. she was well respected until the HP - compaq merger didnt go as well as she ssaid it would. But what this woman did is illegal and in no way justifiable .. If it's justifiable .. why can't competitors pretext HP? Find out who their suppliers are .. who they call to negotiate deals? How about, even dialing into their conference calls by impertsonating employees? Maybe even figure out what hot new product their launching.

Wouldn't they react towards this furiously .. and ask that anyone who does this to them be thrown in jail?

Re:Illegal to pretext HP? (1)

vsync64 (155958) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077427)

What .. HP has had a woman CEO in thge past .. she was well respected until the HP - compaq merger didnt go as well as she ssaid it would.
According to who? You must not have every used a real HP product; say, a calculator or an oscilloscope. Carly killed off everything except the most cutthroat and low-margin industry: commodity PCs and peripherals.

Re:limelight dims (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077316)

That's funny. I always felt that Carly was cut a lot more slack than she should have been, simply because she was a woman.

Anyone underperformaning that much for that long with a plan clearly doomed to even more failures should have been canned within the first 12 months.

Re:limelight dims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077628)

This is why women should not be allowed into positions of authority - they cannot be trusted. Probably hormones gone wrong in this case.

The only time a woman should be above a man is when she is sat on the end of his prong.

When in Rome, etc. (5, Funny)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16076953)

This is slashdot. Please do not cite movie-style 'head of state asks-without-asking for an assination mission' analogies, or refer to centuries-old British church smack-downs. If you can't describe this in terms of chair throwing, iPod-killing, or some form of infringement, the message is lost.

Re:When in Rome, etc. (3, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16076974)

...or refer to centuries-old British church smack-downs.

The killing of Thomas Becket is retold in T.S. Eliot's first play Murder in the Cathedral [amazon.com] . Granted, such literature is far removed from iPods and knocking on Microsoft, but the play is performed--and assigned in college lit classes--often enough that I imagine many people will know something of that historical event.

Re:When in Rome, etc. (3, Informative)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077553)

And the American prosecuters at Nuremburg referred to the "troublesome priest" phrase repeatedly in trying the Nazi war criminals, and so people should encounter it not just in lit or ancient history but in modern history, philosophy or ethics. It's actually pretty common, and if you didn't hear it in such classes, you can safely assume you didn't get your money's worth on college. (If you didn't have to take ANY of those classes, congratulations on your Engineering/CS degree, and I hope you got some of this sort of thing on your own.). Many people know that "I was just following orders" is considered a pretty crappy excuse, but many of them don't understand the other half of that is "My underlings misinterpreted my orders.", and it is equally inexcusable.
      Note: I have not compared HP's management to the Nazis, except in that some people seem to be adopting the same "They misinterpreted me/I was just following orders" BS when they got caught at something. Anyone who thinks I just Godwinned the thread does not understand Godwin, but if you want to mod me down anyway, go right ahead.
 

Re:When in Rome, etc. (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 7 years ago | (#16076979)

Would this be ok? Its almost when Kirk thinks that he is going to duel spock over some vulcan ass.

Re:When in Rome, etc. (5, Funny)

HerrEkberg (971000) | more than 7 years ago | (#16076990)

Will no one rid me of this troublesome chair?

Re:When in Rome, etc. (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077000)

Dude, haul out your own chair. The recycling bin is around the corner.

Re:When in Rome, etc. (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077398)

Will no one rid me of this troublesome chair?
Ballmer, is that you?!

Re:When in Rome, etc. (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077433)

"Whooooooooooooo! Chairvelopers! Chairvelopers! Chairvelopers! Chairvelopers! Whooooooooooooo!"

Complete with sweaty armpits.

Re:When in Rome, etc. (1)

zamboni1138 (308944) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077505)

So you did watch Clear and Present Danger last night?

Ugh. (4, Funny)

writermike (57327) | more than 7 years ago | (#16076968)


Ugh. Too many words. It's much easier for me to buy another brand until this calms down.

My 2 cents as an impartial observer... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16076996)

What the hell is Liza Minnelli [msn.com] doing in a story about HP?

Re:My 2 cents as an impartial observer... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077501)

That was my first thought too, upon reading the MSNBC link.

My second thought, after reading the first paragraph, was that HP is lucky the story didn't turn out to be "HP Director Decapitates Chairman With Radio-Controlled Helicopter".

msnbc article not compatible with Firefox (0, Flamebait)

StarsEnd (640288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077013)

Haven't seen this in a while, but the column truncates in firefox...v.s. IE 6....
Thanks Microsoft!
Typical.

Re:msnbc article not compatible with Firefox (3, Funny)

Pink Tinkletini (978889) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077048)

Looks fine here in Safari. Maybe it's time for you to upgrade.

Re:msnbc article not compatible with Firefox (1, Funny)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077380)

If I said that, I would have been modded troll. (watch this one get an offtopic).

Actually, scratch that - watch this one get a +4 funny then a -2, overrated, -2, troll, -1 offtopic, and REALLY fuck my karma.

Re:msnbc article not compatible with Firefox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077254)

OK for me in FF 1.5.0.6 here...

Re:msnbc article not compatible with Firefox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077270)

...Fine for me. Fox 1.5.0.6.

Re:msnbc article not compatible with Firefox (1)

mackyrae (999347) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077509)

It's not truncated when I look at it in Firefox. Maybe it's a difference with Windows and Linux FF? I'm using it on Linux.

Hey (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077054)

Does anybody have a stream of today's emergency board meeting?

The equipment is in place, isn't it?

No action today, reconvening Monday afternoon (4, Informative)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077587)

According to an update on the original article, the board adjorned without action on Sunday. They are scheduled to meet again Monday afternoon(iirc).

Perkins calls for her resignation. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077695)

At least one [former] board member has publically called for her to step down [bloomberg.com] . I'm surprised she did not resign along with anyone else who knew of this and can only wonder what the phone conversation was like. If she did not step down, it's amazing.

Turbulent (4, Informative)

trewornan (608722) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077096)

If you're going to quote someone at least get it right, Beckett was a "turbulent" priest not a "troublesome" one.

Re:Turbulent (0, Flamebait)

xENoLocO (773565) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077106)

Would you like some fries with that elitism? ;)

Re:Turbulent (5, Funny)

trewornan (608722) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077138)

Sorry, I'm not American so it didn't occur to me that school-kid knowledge of history would be regarded as elitism.

Re:Turbulent (2, Insightful)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077294)

Sorry, I'm not American so it didn't occur to me that school-kid knowledge of history would be regarded as elitism.

Funny, i've always heard it as "will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest," although admitedly neither i nor i expect any other american actually learned about it in school as a child, so it is most certainly _not_ "school-kid knowledge of history" for everyone. Secondly, if you want people to listen to you you might want to adopt a slightly less agressive tone. "If you're going to quote someone at least get it right" is much more likely to be taken as elitism than a phrase like "i was told the original quote was" or something along those lines.

And lastly, before you chastise someone else for getting the quote wrong, make sure you yourself have got it right. Wikipedia certainly isn't infallible, but their page on Thomas Becket [wikipedia.org] says it was "passionate words from the angry king" and then lists several phrases that were reputedly used, so no one is really sure what the exact utterance was to begin with. Not to mention the fact that this was during the period when middle english was being spolen and what he said probably only had a passing relationship with a modern english interpretation of the same words. I therefore strongly suspect that _all_ of us are wrong, or all of us are right, depending on how you choose to look at it. It seems rather unlikely however that you can conclusively proove you are more correct than the person you corrected.

Re:Turbulent (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077394)

I think whatever words he said he would have said them in French. 1066 and all that...

Re:Turbulent (1)

trewornan (608722) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077441)

Wikipedia ... lists several phrases that were reputedly used, so no one is really sure what the exact utterance was to begin with.

You seem to be right - I was just going on what I was taught in school and didn't realise it was a matter of debate. Having said that, I still think you'll find "turbulent priest" is the generally accepted version.

Re:Turbulent (1)

pmc (40532) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077282)

The quote is also a link, that goes to a page, that does not have the quote on it. To correct the stunningly wrong submission is not elitist any more than tidying up garbage is elitist.

Re:Turbulent (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077338)

Sources disagree as to what Henry II said to make a group of knights think that killing Thomas Becket was something their king was ordering them to do. There seem to be a number of popular variations, including "turbulent," "troublesome," "meddlesome," "low-born," and a bunch of statements which are nothing like the most common form. Given the lack of reliable contemporary accounts, along with the tendency following the incident to lionize Becket and blame Henry for the whole thing, any quote of what Henry II said to set those knight dudes off must be considered apocryphal.

Whoa! Crap! Cover girl?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077109)

Not what I had in mind when I saw the "cover girl" headline.

The goggles do nothing.

Re:Whoa! Crap! Cover girl?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077290)

Maybe if you pour beer all over the goggles it would help.

Nothing new here. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077116)

Back in the 1960s a friend's dad got a job as head of an important government office. The people working for him were at the director level so the case is somewhat similar. Everyone had an intercom on their desks so they could do things like calling their secretaries in to take dictation etc. Buddy's dad found that the intercoms were wired so his predecessor could listen in to whatever was happening in any of the other offices. It wasn't an accident, they were deliberately wired the way they were. To his credit, he had them reverted to normal operation.

Powerful people got where they are by knowing what is going on around them. There are other powerful people trying to subvert them and get their jobs. Machiavelli described the process and nothing has changed since then. They used to use spies. Now they use wiretaps.

I'm dubious about the press coverage (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077155)

Something really smells about the press coverage on this. It all seems to pain Perkins as such a good, likeable, ethical person who resigned from the board. And yet, last week I saw a single quote from Dunn which stated that Perkins played a key role in starting this investigation. Curiously, I don't see this statement repeated in other press coverage. But it is extremely telling, if true.

I'm not defending Dunn here. I'm just saying to take any of this "news" which is so glowing about Perkins with a large grain of salt. Perkins is quite powerful in Silicon Valley. And all of this just smells of his propaganda, designed to paint him in the best light possible.

Re:I'm dubious about the press coverage (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077387)

perkins was on the board in charge of overseeing ethics issues for board members. Dunn, the legal consul, and HP investigators went "over his head" to rat out the leaker, because bringing it up to the full board and board's overseers wasn't working. So they called in a private firm.. and the private firm called in the "rats" to dig up dirt. It's no different that what workman's comp, insurance fraud, bill collectors, etc. investigators do on a daily basis. It's a fine line to walk but the line is more "grey" for private individuals than for law enforcement. It's dirty, underhanded, but the guy was basicly selling secrets to see the public go his way in board discussions. The fact is that he was telling to the press, off the books... at least it's an ethics breach because it wasn't "whistleblowing" it was politics. At worst, he was leaking to the press for who knows how long and profiting from it! That's insider trading and that's ILLEGAL, and puts every board member and executive in legal jepordy.

That's what Perkins doesn't get... this needed to be quit, they needed to fire the director quietly... Because he's the head of Board ethics, he should have shut up, this directly affects him, because he was informed of the breach and wasn't effective enough to catch the culprit he could be accused of "covering" for the rogue board member. Squeal all he want's but HE should have plugged this leak.. and not left the CEO to track it back to board members.

Re:I'm dubious about the press coverage (1)

rking (32070) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077452)

last week I saw a single quote from Dunn which stated that Perkins played a key role in starting this investigation. Curiously, I don't see this statement repeated in other press coverage.

I can't help wondering if the reason that you "curiously" don't see the statement is because you aren't reading the articles.

From the one we're discussing here:

Dunn insists Perkins was just as eager to learn the identity of the leaker as she was. "Tom was the most hawkish member of the board for plugging the leaks, which he thought were coming from management. He advocated the use of lie-detector tests." Perkins disagrees.

There's lots of other stuff in there from Dunn too. It really goes out of its way to be fair to both sides.
Unfortunately, Dunn's version of events is that she hired someone to obtain confidential phone records, she received and made use of the phone records but is now amazed after the event to find that they'd been unethical in getting them. Never suspected for a moment that they might have lied to get them. She really can't be that stupid. Telling her side of the story pretty much condemns her.

Archbishop of Canterbury also known as... (2, Insightful)

vleck (134134) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077243)

The Black Adder! It's depressing that I remember more history from The Black Adder than years of public education in the UK. One of the best comedy series ever!

The war on terrorism has moved to the boardroom (2)

hemp (36945) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077259)

Wire taps?? Spying on reporters? Sounds like the tactics used in the 'War On Terrorism'©.

Only disloyal HP customers or stock holders would dare questions the tactics of the Chairman Of The Board.

And those are tactics from the Soviet Union. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077333)

All those are tactics used by the communist governments of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc over the course of the 20th century.

It is of much interest to former Republicans, such as myself, to see how readily and eagerly such tactics have been used by the current administration, as well as the executives of major corporations. It was only 15 years ago that we heard these sort of people decrying the Soviets and their methods of operation. But soon enough, they have adopted the very techniques that they claimed to disagree with. That is why I, and many others, are no longer Republicans. Republicans, and their supporters within the highest levels of the largest American corporations, have become the very enemy they once fought so strongly against.

Re:Colin Powell has moved to the boardroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077647)

No joke, even with the way he pronounces his name. And that has nothing to do with anyone reading a story about goats(e).

http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3 519946 [internetnews.com]

OK ok, so it's not the HP board, but oh so close.

this is just sad (4, Interesting)

iritant (156271) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077267)

Having lived in the Valley for nearly 20 year I spent most of my adult life hearing the legend of Hewlett and Packard. And these two men meant a lot to the Valley. They gave generously and their foundations continue to do so. Between the Children's Wing of the Stanford Hospital to MBARI to the vintage movie in Palo Alto to public radio, these people and their money have done quite a lot of good. HP as a company back then was a fine establishment, and while today I'm sure there are fine people there, I bet both men would be rolling in their graves.

And so it's just sad to see their legacy trashed. I can't say why, but from the moment the board picked Carly Fiorina, things just went south. I am not an HP shareholder. I don't think I could be one until everyone on the current board was gone. If you are a shareholder, that should bother you, because I'm sure I'm not alone.

Were I a shareholder, I would propose that not a single member of the board stand for re-election, so that after some period of time a new board would run the company.

Re:this is just sad (1)

ruffnsc (895839) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077381)

While your comments are heartfelt and understood. Your recomendation for shareholders would send the company into financial ruin. You are addressing a solution to a secondary problem. The true problem is in the dynamic of the modern corporate board. It is a group of people who usually lack the passion to drive the company for its business model. Their only drive is "usually" greed and self advancement and promotion.

not sad, just inevitable w/ the corporate system (3, Interesting)

nido (102070) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077760)

Their only drive is "usually" greed and self advancement and promotion.

But isn't that the nature of the corporate system? The officers of the corporation are legally required to maximize profits for shareholders, right? Let's see what Google says... :)

Hinkley explains, "Each of our fifty states has its own corporate law allowing corporations to be formed and establishing the rules for how such corporations are to operate. Each of these laws has something in common with each of the others. Each says that the only goal of corporations formed in that jurisdiction is to maximize profits for shareholders. In effect, each state does something for corporations that it does not do for its individual citizens--it dictates their purpose. This purpose, the pursuit of corporate self-interest, drives all corporate action. Every act carried out by a corporate employee can be traced back to this purpose established in the corporate law."

Thus the courts created entities that could acquire vast resources over an indefinite life span. They could use these resources as they see fit, for the singular purpose of maximizing profits, without an accompanying set of values or principles that an individual would likely have to guide his actions. "This lack of values," Hinkley writes, "is in evidence every time a corporation makes money at the expense of the dignity of human beings, the welfare of our communities or the protection of our environment."

-http://www.itjungle.com/tfh/tfh040102-story08.htm l [itjungle.com] (emphasis added)


It is a group of people who usually lack the passion to drive the company for its business model.

The successor managers usually aren't able to execute the founder's vision, and this is especially the case if the successors are not family. Didn't the Hewlett (or was it Packard?) family fight the Compaq merger? As the founders of the company, Hewlett and Packard had the influence to graft principles onto their corporation. But once their shares were dispersed at their deaths, the family lost the power (and perhaps the will) to stand up to the state mandate to maximize profits.

Also witness the long, slow decline of General Motors [thetruthaboutcars.com] following the parting of founder Billy Durant.

This is, incidentally, why China is going to win. They make plans for the future based on their sense of several thousand years of history, whereas we in the west only have a couple hundred years, and anything older than two or three generations is largely forgotten.

What else would they do? (4, Insightful)

The Second Horseman (121958) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077276)

Spy on a large customer that might be planning to jump to another vendor for major IT services? Spy on business partners or VARs? Flat out, the reason there are so many leaks surrounding HP is that the behavior (starting during Fiorina's reign) of the management and the board was terrible. Of course there were leaks. It's the only way to ever put the brakes on the amoral behavior of scumbags like these. The way they've been treaing people for years? Of course there are disgruntled people leaking information. They're lucky it hasn't been worse. I expect, now that Dunn has been wounded finding the leaker, the board's going to have to pull an "Old Yeller" and get her off before everyone else is contaminated. It may be too late, though.

Private Investigators should go to jail (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077292)

If private investigators are acting illegally, they are the ones whose names should be known. They are the ones who are supposed to go to jail, and lose their licenses.

Private investigators ARE licensed. They ARE supposed to act WITHIN the law. If any company chooses to hire licensed private investigators, then it's understandable that you assume this, i.e. don't necessarily need to ask questions about their precise methods.

Who were these so-called private investigators? Is this is the first time these private investigators have broken the law in order to get a paycheck? Who were their other clients prior to their HP contract? If the P.I.'s were ordered to do something illegal, why didn't they object?

Why aren't the journalists focusing on them?

Re:Private Investigators should go to jail (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077617)

If the chirman knew of the breach of law, or instructed it directly, then surely it is they who deserve the focus.

Mr Perkins' letter here:
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0905061hp1.ht ml [thesmokinggun.com] .. uses the phrase "chairman's methods", and states that he attempted to notify the board of the issue several times.

the solution is simple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077300)

Get rid of the women and let a real engineer run the show.

Last paragraph (4, Funny)

rking (32070) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077349)

Right at the end of the (7 page) article:

Update: A source close to Hewlett-Packard tells Newsweek that HP's emergency board meeting was adjourned late in the afternoon on Sunday (ET) without any decision being reached on the possible resignation of Patricia Dunn as chairman. The source, who requested anonymity because of the confidentiality of internal board proceedings, said the HP board would reconvene late Monday afternoon.

So I guess they're still leaking :)

Will no one rid me of this troublesome president? (1)

agent (7471) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077413)

I have to try.

This is what happens when (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077421)

This is what happens when you select a person on the basis of their sex and not their abilities. They 'needed' a female of a certain type and that is what they searched for no effort was made to get the best candidate they set out with goal and they met it.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077426)

I perhaps would liken the description of this article to a sentence that was far too long, used improper sentence construction and included far too many analogies that were only slightly relative, in a way that wow its kinda like that, but not really, and gets away from the point where you start looking elsewhere for the key points in seeing who wrote that and do we really care what it was about in the first place or anything like that or do we care that we are still reading something that is like a sentence that is too long?

Oblig. mondegreen (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077436)

"Dirty deeds, Dunn da chief." (Apologies to AC/DC.)

HP Bitches keep the hell going (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077626)

First Fiorina, now Dunn.

Focus on making a better products and keep the whinny hos out HP.

This company died with its founders.

HP heirs to board of directors: Ha HA!!!!!.

The lesson HP will never learn: NEPOTISM ACOMPPLISHES NOTHING!!!!!!!.

Hey, it worked for Schultz (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077650)

I hear nussing, I see nussing, I know nussing!

Gather round little children (2, Interesting)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077653)

The senior ranks of large corporations have been the hotbeds (literally) of skullduggery for as long as there have been power mad underlings. Bill Agee at Allied Signal in the '80's was banging his investment banker on the deal for a hostile buyout of another company. Maurice Greenberg at AIG was bribing everyone he could. Most of the heads at Wall St. firms in the last 25 years have been replaced by being arrested or threatened with lawsuits. Tyco? MCI? The great hdge fund meltdown of 2004-5?

Perkins aboard his yatch (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#16077734)

Catch the photo caption in the MSNBC article? These poor, destitute people. What will be come of them now?

Very interesting, except... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16077795)

I will not subscribe to slashdot until:

1. They stop beating crap like HD-DVD vs. BluRay to death while everything else gets ignored. It's turning into too much of a "big boys toys" forum over a solid technology site.
2. Drop the politics section. While I'm sure it will go away as soon as a Democrat is elected president, regardless of his wrong doings, it's become nothing but a bashfest that has added no substance. I guess CmdrDildo needs this to increase traffic since no one is here to read the Linux or Mac crap.
3. I get mod points back. It's sad that I lost mod points because I don't do the slashdot goosestep. Hence, I'm a troll today.
4. Get rid of the overrated/underrated mods. No mods should be free of being meta-moderated. It's a tool of trolls that has been used against target users instead of being used as the slashdot staff originally envisioned. Taco knows this yet will still do nothing about it. GET OFF YOUR ASS and do a little work for once instead of living off of old glories.

We're your customer, Taco, we're always right.
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