I already detailed, earlier today why Mark Hurd’s resignation from HP seemed weird. Here is an excerpt:
Some big news yesterday in the world of technology had to do with Mark Hurd and his resignation following a sexual harassment investigation where he was not found guilty. The woman allegedly involved with Hurd was a former contractor and according to a close source there was no romantic or sexual relationship between the two. What is unusual though is the company on a conference call characterized their relationship as “close” and “personal.”
I am at a bit of a loss to understand exactly what I just wrote means. In other words, did they go hiking together? Were they BFFs? Perhaps they telepresenced each other from time to time. It seems Hurd may have spent some of HP’s money on this former contractor without receiving work.
Now it seems according to Hurd the contractor wasn’t paid inappropriately and the trips which were expensed were part of legitimate company business.
I must say, a situation which was weird is now getting weirder. Why would the board ask Hurd to step down if there was a chance they were incorrect in their investigation. After all, this is HP we are talking about… The company started Silicon Valley off. They have a reputation which they need to keep and are under a magnifying glass.
Moreover, the scope of what Hurd is being accused of here seems to be minor. You might fire the person making copies if they did something similar but the CEO? And again, the guy cleared $30 million last year… He isn’t poor. If he was going to do something unethical to benefit financially, wouldn’t it need to be for a few hundred million or billion dollars to be worth his while? It seems like a few thousand dollars we are talking about or at least less than $100,000 assuming a corporate jet was involved. Something does not add up – in fact nothing does and I wonder if I need to stay awake all weekend watching this story for updates.
I have to reiterate how much weirdness there seems to be in the upper ranks of HP and the board. I have never seen anything like it. There must be more to the story – much more… Either that or this potential scandal may go down in history as one of the worst PR blunders of the year.
Somewhere in London and New York, execs from BP and Goldman Sachs respectively are watching all this and saying to themselves, now that company has an image problem and needs to get their stuff together.