This embarrassing HP episode just keeps getting worse. Now we have HP chair Patricia Dunn being interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, and saying the following:
- She has no plans to resign, as several board members have urged her to “hang in there” and not step down
- She was “appalled” to learn of the fraudulent calls to obtain board member phone records
- She didn’t learn what pretexting was until August
- She says she kept the board apprised of the leak investigation, both at its outset and ongoing
- She says CEO Mark Hurd saw the investigation results, and helped figure out how to convey them
- She say it is “ugly and reprehensible when a board has to harbor a leaker who will not
come forward and take this burden off the chairman and the rest of the
I hardly know where to start, other than to suggest the WSJ reporter had a great opportunity to play a game of “Truth or Dare”. Nevertheless, let’s take on her more egregious claims, starting with “What me no pretexting”.
So, she is saying the investigators told her that phone records were obtained, but that didn’t trouble her? That makes this whole pretexting thing a smokescreen. Patty, you had an investigator give you telephone records for board members. Who cares whether they got the records by dumpster diving, pretexting, or through molar fillings. Bottom line: The informed shown you flowed from private information from HP board members. That’s the problem, not pretexting in and of itself.
Finallly, while she may think it “ugly and reprehensible” that a board member leak, her investigation was out of line. Dunn might imagine it nice if the leaker had fallen on his own sword and saved her from having to conduct an overreaching investigation, that doesn’t absolve her from responsibility from having been complicit in that investigation.
I’m guessing Dunn has vanishingly low board support right know, and my bet is she almost certainly will take the fall this weekend after the board session. While it might be fun to watch, this is shameful through and through. And as an aside, it will be equally interesting to watch the corollary fallout at Wilson Sonsini: Larry Sonsini could yet get taken down by this episode.