And here we go with the HP webcast. It starts off on two bad notes, with it being almost ten minutes late getting going, and with HP saying Mark Hurd will not take questions. More coming in this same post ….
This is edge-of-precipice stuff. Hurd is being very, very careful, with lots of use of weasel words like “I recall”, “I think”, “I understand”, etc.
And now the blockbuster news (that had to happen, and I repeatedly said would happen): Chair Patricia Dunn has resigned from HP effectively immediately. Hurd is the new chair.
My main impression is that HP is gob-smacked. They are only now realizing the seriousness of the problem they have gotten themselves into. They are nervous, belatedly semi-open, and unsure of themselves. Hurd himself is uneasy through and through, lacking confidence, ill-at-ease, not clear on his own participation, and generally sounds like he is on a short leash, likely one imposed by his lawyers. The unwillingness to let HP CEO Mark Hurd handle more than a preamble in this call — we’re now onto other speakers — is highly revealing.
In reading the Dunn resignation release, it is interesting that Dunn still didn’t agree with leaving. She say she left “at the request of the board”. Sounding for all the world like Colonel Jessup at the climax of “A Few Good Men,” she plaintively says the following:
I followed the proper processes by seeking the assistance of HP security personnel. I did not select the people who conducted the investigation, which was undertaken after consultation with board members. I accepted the responsibility to identify the sources of those leaks, but I did not propose the specific methods of the investigation. I was a full subject of the investigation myself and my phone records were examined along with others. Unfortunately, the people HP relied upon to conduct this type of investigation let me and the company down.
The ongoing investigation into the investigtion is still being described, and either Mark Hurd is the most politically astute and lucky CEO ever — he is Zelig-like, everywhere around the bad decisions being made, but not yet tied to actually making any of them — or his nervousness off the top is highly warranted.