Perhaps Mark Hurd, Jodie Fisher did, have, sex?

By Richi Jennings. August 16, 2010.

Over the weekend, ex-HP CEO Mark Hurd's anonymous allies continued with their anonymous campaign of anonymous whispering. As did the deep-throat sources from inside HP. Now we hear there may be something in Jodie Fisher's sex allegations. We're also told that Hurd felt he was above the governance of the HP Board -- who in turn were looking for an excuse to fire the man who was destroying the HP Way. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder what to make of it all.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention Existential Philosophy...


John Oates has been listening to the war of words:

Both sides have been busy getting their side out ... anonymous sources told the [WSJ] that the board had repeatedly asked Hurd to get the problem settled before ... a mediation meeting. ... Another person ... said Hurd turned down the opportunity to talk to the board while ... [another] "disputed this account" ... [saying] Hurd had been prevented from talking to ... directors.


Any hopes the board had that paying Hurd off would make the problem go away seem unlikely to be fulfilled.

Henry Blodget, also:

The HP board ... Mark Hurd are still bitching at each other in the press. ... Sexual harassment could have occurred, and many board members think it did. But ... the board had no choice but to announce that ... [it] did not.


Hurd's sudden settlement ... startled and angered the board and contributed to the board's decision to immediately can him. Hurd disputes this.


The board unanimously voted to sack Hurd. ... [But] to make him go quietly ... negotiated a huge severance package. ... When a senior executive is fired for cause ... the only reason to give ... severance is to avoid being sued for wrongful termination.

John Furrier gets back to basics, with his strong opinion:

The story is a fairly straightforward one - Mark Hurd was the wrong executive for HP going forward and he had no integrity -That's it folks.  The rest of the story is subplots.


A revolt was taking place for over a year. ... Mark Hurd was operating ... [a] "jury rigged" financial shell game. ... Hurd was an idiot at many levels including product knowledge, technology, and dealing with people. ... To quote Top Gun "he was writing checks his body couldn't cash". ...  Hurd called the HP Boards bluff. ... The HP board did the right thing. They got rid of Hurd.


He bet against the HP Way and lost. ... The force of the HP Way is very "Jedi-like". ... Think about how much Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard have contributed to society, to families, to Silicon Valley, to education, to charities, and to innovation.

Dave Kellogg offers insights into Jodie Fisher's job at HP:

While there are many things puzzling about the situation at HP, [her] role ... is not: it’s called “wingman.” ... What does a wingman do at corporate events? Learn who’s coming to event. ... Pre-brief the exec on who he or she will likely meet. ... Keep the exec moving so he or she can meet as many people as possible. ... Rescue the exec from bad encounters.


That is a lot of work ... because you need to assemble a holistic picture of the customer across geographic divisions, product lines, departments, and if you’re really good, history. ... The bigger a company gets, the more you need wingmen ... and at over 300K employees HP is one big company. ... While many questions may continue to surround the situation at HP, the concept ... and necessity ... of wingman ... should not be among them.

Meanwhile, Scott Olsen nominates a new Interim CEO:

The pieces are really starting to fall together for the decision to put in Marc Andreessen as the Interim CEO of HP. ... It is now clear that the ouster ... was a hasty, manufactured crisis. ... But installing the CFO as the interim-CEO really makes this ... an untenable situation. ... HP needs a new, longer-term interim-CEO ASAP.


[Naming] Andreessen ... would be a crystal clear message to the tech industry that HP is aiming to be a technology player again. ... His considerable tech cred could serve as a rally point for top talent. ... Appoint [him] to interim CEO on a “short-term” basis. ... Use the additional time and breathing room to recruit a top caliber COO to make the trains run on time. ... You can make a very credible promise to the COO that’ll he’ll get the brass ring (the CEO slot).

  And Om Malik thinks that's "not such a preposterous idea":

Andreessen is already an HP board member and is quite intimate with the company (remember HP bought his company Opsware for $1.6 billion in 2007). ... He understands the world of technology as only an engineer can, but by now he is also a seasoned executive and Silicon Valley diplomat.


But for the duration of the CEO search which could last between three to nine months, Marc would be ideal to portray the new “innovation” centric HP.


And Finally...

Existential Philosophy (and other Error'd)

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  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.

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