The embattled chair of Hewlett-Packard’s board of directors, Patricia Dunn, has stepped down and has been replaced with CEO Mark Hurd. Dunn had planned on staying in the position until early 2007, but with the growing controversy over the tactics she employed to find a leak in the board, quitting time was called a bit early.
The controversy all started weeks ago, when it was discovered that somebody on the HP board of directors was leaking information to a C|Net reporter. In response, Dunn hired a team of private investigators who went to work on the private telephone records of board members and reporters at C|Net. The real controversy is that these investigators used “pretexting” to access these records, wherein they would pretend to be the person of whom the records belonged. Unfortunately, for Dunn, this technique is illegal (edit: Anyone remember Kevin Mitnik? – Blake)
In a prepared statement, Dunn said, “The fact that we had leaks on the board had to be resolved. But the inappropriate techniques that were applied do not reflect the values of Hewlett-Packard,” meaning the ends did not justify the means.
There’s more at the CNN article linked to below, including a timeline of the debacle, and it’s worth a read. Although the scandal shouldn’t have lasting effects on the Gadgetsphere, it is interesting news nonetheless.
HP’s Dunn Resigns from Board [CNN]