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HP Businesses

The HP Way 2.0 82

Posted by kdawson
from the getting-ahead-in-business dept.
theodp writes "How do you replace your Chief Pretexting Officer? HP CEO Mark Hurd announced that Joel Hyatt, an individual of 'exceptional judgment and outstanding character,' has joined HP's Board of Directors, filling one of the seats vacated during last year's boardroom scandal. Hyatt, who drew the ire of a judge over the illegal, Philadelphia-like treatment of an attorney at Hyatt's namesake law firm who was diagnosed with AIDS, was also appointed to HP's HR and Compensation Committee. Presumably, the HP womenfolk won't hold it against Hyatt that he reportedly once advocated keeping alma mater Dartmouth female-free. Hyatt acknowledged making mistakes that he's learned from, but said he was not eager to share them."
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The HP Way 2.0

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  • Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by realmolo (574068) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @03:59PM (#19192797)
    I love the fact that the only qualification you need to be on the Board of Directors at a billion-dollar company is to have once been on the Board of Directors at *another* billion dollar company. Doesn't matter if you wrecked that company, or got fired for incompetence, or were successfully prosecuted for some white-collar crime you committed while you were there.

    HP deserves whatever they get. Talk about a fall from grace. HP was, at one time, one of the most important and successful and innovative technology companies in the world. Now what do they do? Sell cheap PCs and expensive ink.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 19, 2007 @04:14PM (#19192897)
      You don't realize that being on the Board of Directors is a hard and underpaid job. Pay as little as $499,000 USD annually isn't uncommon. That isn't very much money when you consider the kind of earnings these people bring into the company and the amount of shareholders these people have with which to deal in shareholder meetings. You are ignorant of how hard the job really is. Good management is hard to come by, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that good management from a failed company can find new jobs. And whitecollar crimes shouldn't be punished anyway.
      • You don't realize that being on the Board of Directors is a hard and underpaid job. Pay as little as $499,000 USD annually isn't uncommon. That isn't very much money when you consider the kind of earnings these people bring into the company and the amount of shareholders these people have with which to deal in shareholder meetings. You are ignorant of how hard the job really is. Good management is hard to come by, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that good management from a failed company can find new jobs. And whitecollar crimes shouldn't be punished anyway.

        On Slashdot this is +5 Funny, in the Wall Street Journal this is called Op-Ed.

      • by mav[LAG] (31387)
        Heh. Reminds me of Dave Barry's Enron Q & A [rpi.edu] in plain English.

        Q. Doesn't Enron have a board of directors whose members are responsible for overseeing the corporation?

        A. Yes. They are paid $300,000 a year.

        Q. So how could they have allowed this flagrant deception to go on?

        A. They are paid $300,000 a year.
      • I believe like Ross Perault, that no manager should earn more than 20 to 25 times the average salary of his organisation. If he needs more, let him purchase shares. I will allow that rule to be important, starting at the top VP level.

        I, as a manager have discovered that each manager of mine that has distinct reponsibilities from his peer, takes up 15 percent of my time. Thus, I find my week is full, managing seven distinct departments via their managers. And yes, I do work overtime too.

        However, it is much
    • Now what do they do? Sell cheap PCs and expensive ink.

      Sure, but second to a ThinkPad (which I can't afford), HP laptops are my preferred brand. So they're doing something right it would seem.

    • Career tips (Score:3, Funny)

      by haraldm (643017)

      I love the fact that the only qualification you need to be on the Board of Directors at a billion-dollar company is to have once been on the Board of Directors at *another* billion dollar company.

      That interests me for my career. How do I get in the Board of Directors at *another* billion dollar company?

      • Unfortunately for you, the answer's kinda in the question :)) Unless you're after the first one, in which case, nepotism or truck loads of money are the only solutions :)
      • That interests me for my career. How do I get in the Board of Directors at *another* billion dollar company?
        Fake it on your resume.
        Be sure to pick a company that has already gone under so no one will answer the phone in case anyone calls them to verify your past employment.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Was does ODP stand for, anyway?
  • by Javit (68742) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @04:15PM (#19192907)

    Presumably, the HP womenfolk won't hold it against Hyatt that he reportedly once advocated keeping alma mater Dartmouth female-free

    Not really interested enough to read the rest of the article, but just wanted to say I don't see the problem with advocating same-sex schooling. My wife went to a women's college and I attended an all-boys high school, are there are definite advantages to it. In the high school case especially, I noticed that having the girls gone resulted in a hugely improved social atmosphere compared to middle school, with everybody pretty much getting along. At the public high school in the same town, however, kids were still vicious little bastards to each other.

    • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
      Mod parent up insightful!

      Why the double standard -- all-female schools are ok while all-male schools aren't? And some studies have shown that children of both genders do better in single-sex schools.

      -b.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by AuMatar (183847)
        Some studies showed that separate but equal was a good idea too. Studies tend to show whatever the guy who pays for it wants it to show.
        • by b0s0z0ku (752509) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @04:34PM (#19193065)
          Some studies showed that separate but equal was a good idea too. Studies tend to show whatever the guy who pays for it wants it to show.

          If you think that single-sex education is immoral, then ban it entirely. We seem to have a double standard where all-female education is somehow OK while all-male education is not (at least socially) acceptable.

          -b.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by necro81 (917438)
      I won't deny that same-sex educational environments can be advantageous and help students focus on their work - avoiding a lot of adolescent nonsense. In the case of Dartmouth co-education, however, the arguments were rarely pedagogical. The arguments, particularly from disgruntled alumni, were more along the lines of "this is our treehouse, girls have cooties."
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Oh, and it's different about the all-female campuses that "womyn" try to keep that way? The whole thing is completely irrational.
        For that reason I also don't quite believe the studies about advantages of segregated education. I'm certainly glad we had coeducation when I was in school. People need to work together anyway later in life, unless we want a segregated society.
    • by Ant P. (974313)
      Or maybe the rich/poor separation was what made the difference.
    • by norton_I (64015)
      I would say that my mixed-sex high school and college had a much better social atmosphere than my mixes-sex junior high. I am not sure there isn't a case to be made for same sex schooling in some cases, but I strongly doubt that overall it is a good idea at the college level at least. If people can't learn to focus on their work when it is important and there are girls (or boys) around, they are going to be useless in the outside world.

      Also, the argument for allowing women-only schools and not men only sc
  • by niceone (992278) * on Saturday May 19, 2007 @04:18PM (#19192919) Journal

    ...but if all the dirt the summary writer can find on him is a firing 20 years ago and something he wrote while he was at Dartmouth (30 years ago??), I'm inclined to think he must be a saint.

    (disclaimer: I used to work at HP, a looong time ago)

    • by Acer500 (846698) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @08:26PM (#19194521) Journal
      Indeed. I read the linked "ire of a judge" article, and Mr Hyatt's case does come across as heartless, but not something he can't have learned from.

      Summarizing TFA:

      - the fired person, Clarence Cain, was the head of the Philadelphia office, until he contracted AIDS. He was a gay African-American, so he was in the danger population for the disease. Mr Hyatt pointed out that he actually hired a gay in the first place, so I don't understand why it's discriminatory to fire him.

      I do understand it's callous and insensitive to fire someone who has a terminal illness without trying to offer help or a compromise. I don't know what's the standard procedure in those cases, but it's clear that Mr Cain was unfit to continue working (not because of AIDS per se, but because of the physical condition he was in from all the associated diseases - the article describes him during the trial:

      "the 38-year-old Mr. Cain, draped in an old suit several sizes too large, testified. His voice was weak, his gait halting, his features emaciated"

      TFA also mentions Mr Hyatt and Mr Cain didn't get along too well before his illness:

      Even before he became ill, Mr. Cain fought with his superiors. Once he uttered obscenities about Mr. Hyatt at a firm dinner. But he lost his post only after the AIDS diagnosis in July 1987.

      Something that surprises me, but I guess it shouldn't considering the nature of US healthcare, was the sharp decline in his living conditions following his illness. Either he had nothing saved up or he spent everything on healthcare, but I wouldn't blame that on Mr Hyatt as the article does (I do think they should have offered help, but it's not his responsibility).

      The callous bit is this Mr. Cain was offered an entry-level position at half the pay or a $12,000 severance package (Is severance not regulated as it is in my home country, where it is a percentage of earnings up to the point?).

      I'm not happy at all with HP lately (I work with a local HP partner) but this guy doesn't came across as particularly worse than usual. It does turn on some warning lights (this kind of person has the makings of a sociopath).
      • I agree.

        I had a year one (second year of schooling) teacher who had AIDS (this was back in 1990 before effective antiretrovirals) and he was just a mess, he was too sick to even turn up most of the time and when he was there it was clear that he wasn't in the emotional state to be a good teacher, he was short tempered and angry and would shout at students very often for minor things. He also increasingly had us sing songs and play games all day for weeks at a time presumably he wasn't well enough for prop

      • by enronman (664750)
        Is severance not regulated as it is in my home country, where it is a percentage of earnings up to the point? Severance is not regulated in the U.S., in fact there is no legal requirement to offer ANY severance. That being said many companies will offer it and use a formula, however they only do it because they chose to or they entered into a contract with the worker/s that requires it.
  • by eclectro (227083) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @04:20PM (#19192959)
    Does this mean that HP will start filling their ink-jet cartridges all the way now??
  • by Timesprout (579035) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @04:21PM (#19192961)
    all corporate appointments now or was this just a bit of character assassination too tempting to pass up?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mpapet (761907)
      I think there's enough /.'ers who have been around long enough to remember when buying HP meant _great_ quality and service at not-that-high-prices.

      Fiorina was pretty much the tipping point. Hurd's infamous "I didn't explicitely approve illegal actions, so I'm not liable or responsible" pretty much tells you what kind of scumbags he's likely to hire. It makes me feel sympathetic for the old-guard BOD's.

      It also gives you an idea what passes for leadership in this country.
  • by necro81 (917438) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @04:22PM (#19192971) Journal
    It is true that there are some curmudgeons out there - mostly associated with Good Ol' Boy networks of the ultra-rich, entitled, privilaged, and (largely) conservative elite - who wish that Dartmouth had remained an all-male institution. As a recent alum, however, I will state emphatically that they are a tiny minority of alumni and current students.

    Dartmouth has been co-ed for about 35 years now. Lots of Dartmouth students ca. 1970 griped about co-education. They were in the minority even then; vocal, but a minority. In the intervening years, particularly as their own daughters reached college age, most of those have come to realize that it wasn't the end of the world - it made the College a better place.
    • by b0s0z0ku (752509) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @04:26PM (#19193007)
      Dartmouth has been co-ed for about 35 years now. Lots of Dartmouth students ca. 1970 griped about co-education. They were in the minority even then; vocal, but a minority

      I'm not arguing that it made Dartmouth a better place or not. But, I still don't think it should be held against him, especially since all-female schools are pretty common, so why can't there be all-male schools? Should we lambast a female CEO that went to Smith, Holyoke, or Bryn Mawr if she expressed the opinion that her alma-mater would be better off not going co-ed? I'm not against co-education, but private universities should have a choice as to whom to admit.

      -b.

      • Why? That's easy. Men will succeed in co-ed and all male institutions quite easily. Women often underperform in co-ed enviornments. Read up on stereotype threat.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by b0s0z0ku (752509)
          Men will succeed in co-ed and all male institutions quite easily. Women often underperform in co-ed enviornments.

          Regardless, if women have the choice, so should men. I'm not talking about taking away women's right to single-sex education -- I'm saying that in order to have "equality", both genders should have that right.

          Besides, the premise is that men and women are intellectually equal. Are you saying that women can't compete on a level playing field now?

          -b.

          • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

            by gordgekko (574109)
            Well said. Women seem to be equal to men...except when they're not.
            • by Scudsucker (17617)
              Well said. Women seem to be equal to men...except when they're not.

              Of course, because feminism isn't really about equality, it's about making things better for women. Compare the number of women demanding the right to vote at the start of the 20th Century, and the number of women demanding "equality" in the 60's and 70's, to the number of women who insisted that the draft apply to both sexes.
        • by Scudsucker (17617)
          Women often underperform in co-ed enviornments.

          Bullshit. Women are enrolling and graduating at rates far higher then men. It's not uncommon to find a 60/40 split in enrollment.
    • by phorest (877315)

      It is true that there are some curmudgeons out there - mostly associated with Good Ol' Boy networks of the ultra-rich, entitled, privilaged, and (largely) conservative elite.

      Surely, Hyatt is not one of the conservatives you talk about. After all, being a well connected democrat helps to make a lot of money. Having money -or- being well-connected does not mean that person is conservative. His father in-law was/is none other than Howard Metzenbaum [wikipedia.org] (D-Ohio).

      I know you qualified your statement with 'largely

  • HP is a mess (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KidSock (150684) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @04:41PM (#19193123)
    Why does a printer driver require 435 MB of disk space (no really, you cannot install it otherwise) and take 30 minutes and a reboot to install?

    This is one of those situations where a lot of higher-ups need to get the axe but of course they're not going to fire themselves. Same goes for Yahoo! with their over-AJAX-ified website overhaul.
    • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
      Why does a printer driver require 435 MB of disk space (no really, you cannot install it otherwise) and take 30 minutes and a reboot to install? Usually, you can just install the drivers from disk. The problem is when you want nifty functionality like network scanning on multifunction machines. Then you have to install the whole package or nothing. Far better would be to have a web app embedded in the multifunction machines -- you should be able to just point a browser to the printer's IP or name and do
      • by Ant P. (974313)
        Some printers do have web apps embedded in them.

        Hilarity ensues when said printers have a public IP address and no password.
        • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
          Some printers do have web apps embedded in them. Hilarity ensues when said printers have a public IP address and no password.

          Yep, the more expensive ones. Still, if they can embed a web app in a $20 router, no reason why they can't put one in a $250-300 middle-range office printer for scanning. Especially if the printer ALREADY has a web page for configuration. As far as security -- make the thing disabled by default until a password is set.

          -b.

    • by dattaway (3088) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @04:54PM (#19193217) Homepage Journal
      Why does a printer driver require 435 MB of disk space (no really, you cannot install it otherwise) and take 30 minutes and a reboot to install?

      You don't understand. That 435 MB is to prevent reverse engineering. It would take 895 man years to reverse engineer a driver this size. The 30 minutes to reboot and install is to make you think twice about changing brands of printers ever again. We need you to help protect our profits.

      Thank you for your support.
      The mgmt.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 19, 2007 @05:15PM (#19193359)
        There is some truth to this.

        I used to work on a large software project at HP. It was written in Java.

        I remember one meeting where there was a debate about if we should obfuscate the code or not to make it harder to decompile and reverse-engineer. We reasoned that since we can't even figure our own code out half the time when it came time to fix defects, there was little risk in leaving it "un-obfuscated". If our competitors got ahold of it, we'd just laugh and say "good luck, suckers"!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 19, 2007 @04:44PM (#19193139)
    This isn't so much an indictment of them as of the way the corporate system works.

    If you aren't a sleazeball then you simply don't make it to the Board, because entire legions of sleazeballs get there long before you can through sleazing their way up the ladder or through the business grapevine.

    And it's not even a level playing field with the sleazeballs on the inside track, because not only do they have the souped up engines but they also have rear-mounted machine guns to make sure you lose. (Yeah, I love mixing my metaphors.) In other words, you're actively put down by them.

    And that's why pretty much all upwardly mobile managers end up being sleazeballs too. It's built into the system.

    The same applies in politics, which is why the President is always the greatest sleazeball of them all, regardless of which party is in power.
  • I had a good friend once who was a huge executive at HP. She was an Australian woman whose work in areas like Hong Kong and Japan earned the company millions. When she was transferred to the main headquarters she lived across the street from us. She was (and still is) an awesome individual who I have enormous respect and admiration for.

    When the HP/Compaq merger was approved, her days became numbered. They didn't even give her a pink slip directly, they transferred her over to an office in the Southwest -
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by j-pimp (177072)

      Afterwards they couldn't afford living in the United States - her husband had already retired - and they had to move back to Australia. She knew it was going to happen, too, it was just one big waiting game.

      Just out of curiosity, is it that much cheaper to live in Australia or was she just able to find a better job in her home country? I would think if your resume said "big executive" and "in charge of a business unit spanning multiple countries," one could make a living wage in whatever developed country one wished. I would be wrong though.

      • Just out of curiosity, is it that much cheaper to live in Australia or was she just able to find a better job in her home country?

        I think it depends on where in the States you want to live. I get conflicting reports from people who move there, and from Americans I know living in Australia. But if you want to rebuild your career it is much easier to do that in an environment which you understand well, and where you have a support network.

        Living overseas cuts you off from family who might help you out with

      • In terms of costs, I think the place they were living in before - the state of Victoria - was a lot cheaper and had different perks. Excellent public transit system, unbelievably clean water (you could wash your hair with a bar of soap!), among other things I remember when I traveled there. But there were other concerns: high gas prices, for instance. She was living in the Bay Area, and that was really nice.

        I do not think she was able to find too many jobs after that, though. I think it had to do with he
    • by sgtsqh2o (1050154)
      Same here. I once thought highly of HP until I realized how far their sales execs would prostitute themselves for an account. My former employer once had a big integration project and HP was one of the bidders. HP had no knowledge of what they were selling. In fact, they just managed to get their reseller agreement with a no name technology vendor just before submitting their bid. Despite their obvious lack of skill, HP managed to get the contract. It doesn't take a genius to figure out something fraudulent
  • There are women-only universities, health clubs, vacations, domestic violence shelters, and hotels. Why is female-exclusive ok, but male-exclusive bad? Did anyone else notice the hypocrisy of Martha Burke, head of the Council of *Womens* Organizations, demanding that the Augusta golf club open its membership to women?
  • by sulli (195030) *
    Gawd, what the fuck else will be 2.0 before this stupid meme is finally assigned to the scrap heap of history? I am so sick of it.

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