One ex-HP guy (@richi) on another ex-HP guy (Mark Hurd)


You may know that I worked for HP, in various capacities from 1987 to 2001. Of course, that was before Mark Hurd's time, but why let a small detail like that stop me having an opinion? It's The Long View.

So farewell, Mark Hurd. You've belatedly 'fessed up to something naughty with an HP contractor. Not sexual harassment, but it seems to be somehow involved with secret payments and/or 'unusual' expenses claims. But, in an ironic way, you will be missed inside HP.

You were no Carly Fiorina. As far as I'm concerned, that was a good thing. A very good thing. La Fiorina was widely perceived as 'all flash and little substance'. She talked about the HP Way, but it seemed to be only when it suited her -- even going as far as to re-brand it as "The way of the garage," as if there was something wrong with "the HP Way" moniker.

But it was soon apparent that her heart wasn't in it. She wanted to turn HP into just another soulless business, run for the short-term benefit of CEO and stockholders, with no empathy for its employees.

You were no Lew Platt, either. Sometimes, it seemed like the late Platt didn't have his eye on the ball. He allowed fiefdoms to thrive beneath him, resulting in ugly infighting, to the detriment of HP.

And then of course, there were the ugly allegations that his severance package included an enormous, surprise, backdated claim for unpaid overtime -- even though many of HP's employees weren't eligible for overtime. Speaking of severance pay, I couldn't put it better than Henry Blodget (who knows a thing or two about career changes under a cloud). He writes:

Hurd filed the fake reports to deceive the company. ... Generally, things like golden parachutes are dependent on executives not being dismissed for cause, and defrauding your company is certainly "cause."


Why is Mark Hurd getting a $50 million severance payout if he filed bogus expense reports? And why was he allowed to "resign." Why wasn't he fired?

May Bill and Dave rest in peace, and not turn too much in their graves.

See also today's IT Blogwatch: Mark Hurd did, not, have, sex with Jodie Fisher, but... 


Richi Jennings, blogger at large
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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