Monday, November 8, 2010

the story just won't die

The HP Board must have wanted to get even, or at least "weigh in". After the calming of things for a couple of weeks, Ellison couldn't resist going on the offensive again, trying to tar Apotheker with fraud and intent to cheat Oracle (oh, my, takes one to know one?), and more importantly, tie his hands as he starts this week at HP with a lawsuit over IP and trade secret theft and infringement (weren't those the concerns of HP's Board if Hurd went to Oracle?).

So, in the Wall Street Journal, and in Fortune, we find stories back-to-back "illuminating" the issues behind the Board's findings that led to ousting Hurd. Ah, the drama and suspense -- imagine watching a key football game in Mark's hotel room after drinks downstairs (with a TV there), but our girl wasn't needed for the Boise meetings, she just happened to be in town on HP's nickel. Undoubtedly no sexual harassment. More like the claim, as yet not picked up by any local area newspaper, that ran last week in the NY Post claiming that Hurd and an unnamed Marketing VP of Sun Microsystems had consensual relations in 2007.

This guy sounds kinda like Clinton and Kennedy, apparently plenty capable in his main job, but a little driven by his loins.

HP 'sources' went out of their way to explain that, except for this set of lying cheating pecadillos, they loved the guy, contrary to some outside observer comments (presumably including mine). If so, I'm saddened. I would have hoped that the Board was indeed beginning to catch on that he had raped HP's future almost as badly, if not worse, than his consorts. But maybe as I feared, this too was consensual. In which case, they have complicity. And in which case, you have to ask, "who's really running the place?" Is there a long-term perspective around?