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Larry Ellison Rips HP Board a New One 326

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the making-friends-every-day dept.
theodp writes "No stranger himself to sexual harassment allegations, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has denounced HP's directors for forcing the resignation of HP CEO Mark Hurd. 'The HP board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago,' Ellison wrote. For now, it seems that Rupert Murdoch is also standing by Hurd, who sits on News Corp's Board of Directors and its Corporate Governance Committee. Less likely to survive the scandal is Hurd's relationship with HP General Counsel Mike Holston, who accepted Hurd's signed separation agreement after leading an investigation into Hurd's actions, which Holston told the NY Times 'showed a profound lack of judgment.' Quite a change from just last year, when Hurd and Holston teamed up to get their daughters' elite prep school a state-of-the-art HP Data Center."
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Larry Ellison Rips HP Board a New One

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  • by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:46AM (#33203554) Homepage

    Does anyone know if there is hard evidence (heh) proving this guy's guilt? It would be a real shame for this to be a false accusation that destroys a man's career...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mandark1967 (630856)

      My understanding, though I've not read about the case in depth, is that he was accused, he admitted to it, and the accuser had already worked out a resolution, then the crap hit the fan, so to speak.

    • Re:Question: (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TrisexualPuppy (976893) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:52AM (#33203628)
      According to one of my old classmates who works at HP, they've either been keeping everything really quiet, or there is no evidence. He is betting on the latter. This may just be a case of slander/libel. It does not take much for a woman to accuse a man of a crime that he did not commit and get him into heaps of trouble for it.

      Happened to me in the 90s and on a much smaller scale. I was accused of groping a woman, and when the cop arrived, she couldn't even keep her story straight. The cop tried to convince her how to best make up her story in front of my face. I was arrested. When we went to court, I provided microcassette audio and a transcript of what had happened. Cop was fired, and they tried the woman for perjury. Still made my life a nightmare.
      • Re:Question: (Score:4, Insightful)

        by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:06AM (#33203816)
        More common than most people realize. And thanks to feminists running around claiming that no woman has ever lied about being raped or sexually harassed, there is pretty much a presumption of guilt now for any such accusation, even if it's in the midst of a nasty divorce/custody case or if the victim has a clear financial gain in making an accusation. Just look at how those poor bastards in the Duke Lacrosse case [wikipedia.org] were publicly crucified by the likes of Gloria Alred and Nancy Grace (who never even had the decency to apologize after the case fell apart). Without decent attorneys, those guys would probably be in prison now (instead of the piece-of-shit prosecutor who railroaded them for his own political gain).
        • Re:Question: (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:20AM (#33203976)

          To be fair, at one point it was pretty standard to put the accuser in a case like that more on trial than the accused.

          Things have swung too far in the opposite direction, now, but you have to understand these things in context -- society's trying to find an appropriate equilibrium.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by mlts (1038732) *

            Society never finds equilibrium. It merely heads to the state with the lowest energy and the highest entropy.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Hatta (162192)

            To be fair, at one point it was pretty standard to put the accuser in a case like that more on trial than the accused.

            What's wrong with that? If you're talking about depriving a man of several years, if not decades, of his life, potentially subjecting him to rape in prison, and branding him for life after his release, shouldn't we be damn sure the accuser has their story straight?

        • Flamebait mod (Score:3, Insightful)

          by elrous0 (869638) *
          See, you can't even point it out without getting a flamebait mod.
          • Re:Flamebait mod (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:22AM (#33204658)
            You were modded flamebait because of the fucking ridiculous strawman you threw up about feminists "running around" "claiming that no woman has ever lied" which is obviously a shrill histrionic fantasy. If you want to make a point, childish exaggeration doesn't help, it gets you modded as flamebait.
            • by M. Baranczak (726671) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:34PM (#33207166)

              That's "ridiculous strawperson".

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mark72005 (1233572)
          Exactly - there's always a presumption of guilt for the man.

          I'd hate to be a celebrity or some kind of professional athlete in this respect. You would think they'd all be afraid to talk with strangers in public or date women innocently, for fear of those people all looking for a payday any way they could get it.
          • by elrous0 (869638) *
            I remember reading a while back about a NBA or NFL training seminar they required for new ballplayers. One of the topics they covered was just that, the dangers of letting a "groupie" get you alone (and what it could cost you if they were interested in more than just sleeping with a celebrity). Probably should be a required class for new rock stars too.
        • by sean.peters (568334)

          And thanks to feminists running around claiming that no woman has ever lied about being raped or sexually harassed

          [Citation needed]. Please, do tell. Quote me a "feminist" who's running around claiming that no woman has ever lied about this sort of thing. That's all right, I'll wait.

          there is pretty much a presumption of guilt now for any such accusation,

          This is hardly limited to sexual harassment/rape cases - most people reflexively think that people accused of ANYTHING are probably guilty. There's a reaso

      • Re:Question: (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nedlohs (1335013) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:19AM (#33203968)

        Today you'd get thrown in jail for making that recording.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by PitaBred (632671)

          Depends on the state. I'd get out of Massachusetts while the getting was good.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        It's a good thing you weren't in Illinois. Taping it with a microcassette without their knowledge is a felony here. But then, this IS Illinois, where the powerful want to be shielded from their lies.

      • by cgenman (325138)

        http://chattahbox.com/business/2010/08/09/hps-sexual-harassment-accuser-jodie-fisher-skin-flick-actress/ [chattahbox.com]
        http://www.usatoday.com/tech/techinvestor/corporatenews/2010-08-06-hp-ceo-hurd-resigns_N.htm [usatoday.com]

        I've only been reading a little bit from news sources, but it sounds like they were friends outside of work, and he wanted to sleep with her. She didn't want to sleep with him, and there wasn't any repercussions. Whatever happened, they dealt with it, and it sounds like they don't bear each other ill will. The e

    • The 'accuser' has backed off things quite a bit, including saying they never had a sexual relationship ... all this after she received a settlement. That's why they call it 'hush money'.
      • by afabbro (33948)

        The 'accuser' has backed off things quite a bit, including saying they never had a sexual relationship ... all this after she received a settlement. That's why they call it 'hush money'.

        I think you're mischaracterizing things. She never said they had a sexual relationship and Hurd never said they did. She said he harassed her. HP fired Hurd because he fraudulently expense'd $20,000 in gifts, visits, etc. to pursue the relationship.

        Two points:

        • The fact that he spent $20,000 on trips, visits, and gifts for a woman and lied about it is pretty much proof that he was pursuing her. If it had all been legitimate business meetings, he wouldn't have had to lie.
        • More importantly, fraudently expen
    • by Splab (574204)

      Don't feel too bad, he is getting a golden handshake in the tune of $150 million at least. (They are still working on some stock options and HP just came out with a nice profit)

    • Yes (Score:5, Informative)

      by snowwrestler (896305) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:03AM (#33203768)

      He was not fired for the sexual harassment stuff. In fact he was cleared of violating HP's policy and he settled the suit out of court. Both he and woman have confirmed that they did not have a sexual relationship.

      He was fired for filing inaccurate expense reports totalling about $20,000. Basically he concealed the fact that he was expensing meetings with this woman. HP has stated that they do have clear evidence of that, and that Hurd admitted it and offered to repay the $20k. Instead they fired him.

      He was a superstar manager. If HP's financial performance suffers without Hurd, they could lose tens of billions of dollars in market cap. If that happens I have to think that investors are going to question whether that $20k was worth it.

      • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

        by s.d. (33767) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:13AM (#33203902)

        He was a superstar manager. If HP's financial performance suffers without Hurd, they could lose tens of billions of dollars in market cap. If that happens I have to think that investors are going to question whether that $20k was worth it.

        I don't disagree that he has been an amazing manager at HP, helping to turn things around after the mess that was Carly Fiorina.

        However, how much corruption is too much to overlook? Where do you draw that line? He falsified records to get expenses paid out to himself and/or this woman for $20k, and when caught red-handed, offered to pay it back. Ok, but what if he wasn't caught? Would he have kept doing it? Would he have done it with some other woman? What happens if he wasn't caught until the total was in the millions? Would that have still been ok, because a couple million is still less than tens of billions in market cap?

        What is the value of corporate officers acting honestly no matter what?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by grasshoppa (657393)

          This is business, not government. In business, you perform a cost analysis, with the risks and potential benefits.

          Morality, ethics don't really enter in to the question unless it becomes a PR and marketing issue.

          Hurd was doing a great job for the company, and yes he fucked up. However, I believe someone used this situation as a cover for their own personal agenda.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Not in cases like this you don't. There isn't any leeway, especially at the top. Hell, I am not even close to the top but would be fired if I falsified even $150 on an expense report. We have to take anti-corruption training every year or two, including things like this and more gray-area ones like accepting tickets to sporting events from vendors, etc. They make it clear that there is no exception - you violate the policy and you are out. You can't really expect LESS from the executives. They have to be th
          • The agenda being "get money for myself". Someone powerful wants money, and he is in-between them and that. That is all it ever is.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by timeOday (582209)
            Allowing the CEO to remain after getting caught stealing from the company would be incredibly demoralizing to everybody else working there. The corporate culture would be equal parts cynicism and kleptomania.
          • "Good ethics is good business"

            It's the internal motto at the company I work for and they hammer it home time and time again. And it pays off, the company is regularly rated high for ethics and trust, especially compared to other places in our industry. Not everyone feels the way you assume, some realize that lots of small costs now can pay off in the future by increasing the trust that your customers put in you.

        • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

          by OnlineAlias (828288) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:35AM (#33204132)

          People simply do not understand things at the top of the political/business world. None of this was about what he did, falsified what, or expensed whatever. This was about someone else wanting him out. Someone powerful wants the job, or doesn't like the guy, period.

          People at this level are in constant competition with others to keep their jobs, and have to force others out. If you make yourself politically weak by doing some jackoff thing like this, it makes it easier to take you out. Here, someone did. They managed to overlook the data center for his kids school, for chrissake. He just had more juice at that time.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by elrous0 (869638) *
            Amen. Boards overlook much bigger CEO infractions than this all the time. Someone (or, more likely, more than one) on the board wanted him gone for other reasons. This was just the formal legal CYA reason. The *real* truth may or may not ever come out.
        • Mod parent up. I have no doubt that a $200 falsification at a big.ugly.corp would have you marched out of the building with your box of trinkets. It does seem like a Capone-esque way of getting rid of him, and Gawker's story on the school possibly points to a far bigger, but allowed drain on shareholder funds via executive sense of entitlement than lying about expenses.

        • by couchslug (175151)

          "What is the value of corporate officers acting honestly no matter what?"

          Nothing to the corporation. 20K is about the equivalent of keeping a pen from work in you pocket and leaving it at home. (How many of us have a cupful of pens, Sharpies, etc?)

          There are plenty of options between retention and dismissal. A verbal reprimand would be invisible and likely have gotten the job done. Someone had it out for him.

      • by sirwired (27582) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:40AM (#33204212)

        The firing wasn't about the amount of the falsification. $20k is indeed chump change for a bazillion-dollar executive. But once you let the CEO get away with blatantly falsifying expense accounts, you've now made theft from the company an acceptable practice. How do you now justify firing an employee for the same thing? Why is it okay for a CEO to steal $20k, but not okay for a peon to do the same? Condoning this behavior is simply not the right thing to do, and can trigger long-term problems with morale and the company culture which can lead to massive losses (and possibly company failure) years down the road.

        I'd say there is a 100% chance that any peon that stole $20k would be escorted out of the building by security (and isn't going to receive any cushy severance package either) and possibly brought up on charges.

        I applaud HP's board for doing the right thing here and demonstrating the executives are held to the same ethical rules as front-line employees. Yes, it hurt. Yes, Hurd was an otherwise-excellent CEO. Yes, this has cost a lot of short-term pain to the stock price. But some things just aren't right, and churning up $20k in fraudulent expense accounts is one of them. (Wiretapping journalists to find out their sources is another, which HP found out the hard way.) I think HP will be a stronger company down the road as a result.

        SirWired

        • by couchslug (175151)

          "Condoning this behavior is simply not the right thing to do, and can trigger long-term problems with morale and the company culture which can lead to massive losses (and possibly company failure) years down the road."

          If fucking up the company culture killed companies, HP would have been long dead due to previous management.

          None of the story needed to leak so it would not have mattered had it been kept mum. Someone decided it was useful to exploit for whatever reason, and did so.

        • by radtea (464814) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @01:26PM (#33206306)

          Why is it okay for a CEO to steal $20k, but not okay for a peon to do the same?

          For the same reason it is okay for a large failed business to recieve billions in taxpayer support under the Bush/Obama bailout plan but not okay for anyone with an underwater mortgage to walk away from it.

          One law for the ultra-rich, one law for the rest. Welcome to America.

      • by eison (56778)

        I'm pretty sure their HR department has a zero tolerance policy on stealing from the company. How much money do I have to be worth before the rules don't apply to me anymore? Do you really think it's only unacceptable to steal if I'm on the bottom half of the org chart?

      • If that happens I have to think that investors are going to question whether that $20k was worth it.

        investors probably want to know also that HP management doesn't stand for execs stealing from the company. it's their money after all. or, maybe the rule should be that as long as they don't steal more than they are ostensibly worth, it's all good.

        you'd also have to ask whether you want to employ a man who is dumb enough to steal $20k when he's getting six+ figure salary not to mention bonuses.

    • by NevarMore (248971)

      Does anyone know if there is hard evidence (heh) proving this guy's guilt? It would be a real shame for this to be a false accusation that destroys a man's career...

      Oh yes it would be just *awful* if this poor man had to retire on $11.6 million in cash and $40-50 million in HP stock.

      I agree with your basic premise, not guilty means that he should be made whole after this mess is sorted out. This "resignation" is there to make problems for HP go away whether or not Hurd actually did anything. However I find it VERY hard to feel bad for someone that makes over 1000 times what the average middle class salaried worker makes. I'm pretty sure he can retire comfortably and hi

      • by timeOday (582209)
        He doesn't even have to retire - just accept the $50e6 windfall and move on to another similar position. With friends like Ellison and Murdoch (and those are just the ones who've publicly taken his side) there will be a big bidding war for him to take the reigns of the next company - not unlikely someplace many slashdotters work :)
    • FTFY (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RingDev (879105) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:24AM (#33204036) Homepage Journal

      Does anyone know if there is hard evidence (heh) proving this guy's guilt? It would be a real shame for this to be a false accusation that gives this man $12 million in cash and $30 to 40 million in stock options...

      -Rick

    • Doesn't matter. Business code of conduct says if it might look bad in a headline, don't do it. HP is a fortune 10 company and in the middle of a pretty big turnaround. The last thing they need is (potential) clients questioning leadership.

      http://www.zdnet.com/blog/sustainability/hp-ousts-ceo-hurd-fails-the-headline-test/1126 [zdnet.com]

  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:47AM (#33203568) Homepage Journal

    No stranger himself to sexual harassment allegations, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison

    I heard Larry Ellison keeps the sexual harassment forms in the bottom drawer of his desk. That way when a woman goes to get one he can check out her ass.

    .
    • by fermion (181285)
      Exactly, this is just a case of the old boys club sticking together to keep their perks. After all, what is the point of being a top level executive if you can't use company resources to pay for dates.It was only 10-100K a pop to get the lady to have dinner. Not that much in the scheme of HP finances? He departure will certainly cost more than that, so it was silly to make him leave. It was only a woman after all, not a real person.
    • by Bruce Perens (3872) <bruce@perens.com> on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @01:41PM (#33206514) Homepage Journal

      Mark Hurd's silly exit has little to do with HP's real problems. As an executive there about a decade ago, I saw a company that was giving up its differentiating value in the name of operational savings, not realizing that by now the Golden Goose of creativity would find greener pastures. But surprisingly, the classic HP tradition of building a great place to do engineering that results in a flood of excellent creative products is being followed...

      Read the rest of the posting [perens.com].

  • This has turned into a episode of Mad Men. the lawyer wants the CEO out, because maybe he has some dirt on him. Call it Pack Men.

    Hopefully, the offended woman will do some Ahley Dupree photo shoots soon so we can see what the fuss is about.
    • If you RTFAed, you would know that there is already, um, material in the public domain.

    • by Whalou (721698)

      Hopefully, the offended woman will do some Ahley Dupree photo shoots soon so we can see what the fuss is about.

      No need to wait for a photoshoot, she's done some B/C-movies: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0167546/ [imdb.com].
      Intimate Obsession and Body of Influence 2 should give you what you were looking for.

    • by Fnord666 (889225)

      Hopefully, the offended woman will do some Ahley Dupree photo shoots soon so we can see what the fuss is about.

      Here you go [gawker.com].

  • Obvious (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:48AM (#33203578)

    With so many senior tech company staff quitting or being fired in the past few weeks, I must conclude that there is a connection. The Earth is doomed, and these individuals have been chosen to be part of the secret task-force designing the space craft that will whisk the rich and influential away to live on another planet.

    • The Earth is doomed, and these individuals have been chosen to be part of the secret task-force designing the space craft that will whisk the rich and influential away to live on another planet.

      Let's hope Hurd does a better job designing the spacecraft that's going to save us all than HP did with its initial 'slate' offering ... and we're all crossing our fingers that this space craft will run WebOS instead of Windows.

    • by Machtyn (759119)
      That's what they keep telling those politicians, military men, hairdressers, financial consultants, and telephone cleaners.
  • Be nice to find another news source - like this one [thestreet.com] where a login was not needed.

    "In losing Mark Hurd, the H-P board failed to act in the best interest of H.P.'s employees, shareholders, customers and partners," Ellison wrote in an email to The New York Times, which posted excerpts of the email late Monday. "The H-P board admits that it fully investigated the sexual harassment claims against Mark and found them to be utterly false."

  • Violated policy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by glittermage (650813)
    Mark violated other company policies and chose the better path. There are many other people who can fill the shoes of the CEO at HP. Mark's departure strengthened the HP brand and that is very valuable.
    • by couchslug (175151)

      "Mark violated other company policies and chose the better path. There are many other people who can fill the shoes of the CEO at HP. Mark's departure strengthened the HP brand and that is very valuable."

      Spintastic, good sir! Delivered with impeccable corporate style. :)

    • Re:Violated policy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by cgenman (325138) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:48AM (#33205016) Homepage

      HP has been headed by complete imbeciles for years now. The legendarily bad Carly was just the first headliner.

      I'm not too close to his work, but Mark Hurd was actually the first HP CEO in years that didn't seem to be a completely vacuous idiot. By not immediately firing every engineer and outsourcing design to wikipedia, Mark Hurd was the best HP CEO since the 90's. He seemed like he wanted to lead a business that actually made things. It was shocking.

      While there are many people that can competently fill the shoes of the CEO at HP, if history is any indication the board will elect Mister Bean.

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:00AM (#33203726) Journal

    Is this how "corruption on a massive scale" is spelled, nowadays?

  • It is a matter of a criminal court, not company policy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dwye (1127395)
      No, it is civil, not criminal, matter, unless it was actual assault or rape (not the case, here). Since Hurd and the lady settled the matter privately, it is no court's business.
  • GNU/ (Score:2, Funny)

    by wcoenen (1274706)
    How many times do we have to say it people? It's GNU/Hurd!
  • by zstlaw (910185) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:02AM (#33203742)

    Part of the scandal that she didn't want him fired as he had already settled the harassment charges with her. The pictures I saw showed very attractive actress back in her 30s (she is 50 now). She was hired for marketing and networking. ("HP paid her up to $5,000 per event to greet people and make introductions among executives")

    She reported unwanted advances and that uncovered a forged dinner reimbursement with her that was why he was ousted. (He probably was with another woman but claimed it was her so he could get dinner reimbursed.) She says she was "surprised and saddened" that Hurd lost his job. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38611219/ns/business-us_business/ [msn.com]

  • Why do I remember reading some long article (NY Times? New Yorker?) about intrigue on the HP board. It may have been Fiorina related, but I seem to recall something to do with cell phone records, etc.

  • by waddgodd (34934) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:06AM (#33203800) Homepage Journal

    This is the board that hired Carly, setting a new standard for "worst personnel decision". Compared to that, this doesn't even make a blip on the radar.

  • Why so surprised? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by moosesocks (264553) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:06AM (#33203818) Homepage

    'The HP board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago,'

    I'm surprised Ellision is surprised. The HP board is no stranger to godawful personnel decisions [wikipedia.org].

  • by thesandbender (911391) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:08AM (#33203834)

    Everyone is focusing on the sexual aspects of this. If you read through HP's statements, they fired him because he falsified expense reports (lied) so he could give money to the woman involved for *consulting* services that appeared to have either never been performed or were done so poorly as to be worthless (stole).

    HP canned his butt for stealing, plan and simple. It would be idiotic to keep a thief on as your CEO, especially in this political, companies are the root of all evil climate. HP's board did their job in this case.

  • by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:08AM (#33203838) Homepage

    If Larry Ellison backs Hurd then he must be his kind of scum - fearless and inventive. Takes one to know one.

  • Surprised? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:17AM (#33203940)

    Really, is anyone surprised that this is Larry Ellison's reaction? (Regardless of the actual details of the allegations or truth of them.)

    He's the kind of guy (the bit about him in the Washington Post article linked in TFA speaks to this somewhat, if you're not familiar) who thinks of executives as a kind of new aristocracy, able to do whatever they want and sleep with whichever female employees they want without limit or accountability.

    People rag on the quirks tech CEOs like Ballmer and Jobs (and some of it's deserved and/or funny), but Ellison is a honest-to-god king of the douchebags.

  • he is guilty of embezzlement and using the money to pay for a prostitute, he is pretty damn lucky to get 28 million and forced to leave, if i had anything to do with it he would be looking at a long prison sentence.
  • If anybody believes that this incidence is what causes his firing, they are absolutely stupid. This kind of stuff goes on ALL the time. And it is not enough to get ANY ceo fired in this day and age. Obviously, there is a LOT more behind the story, that HP does not want to come to light. The issue is that this was simply the last straw, or the rest was found during the investigation about this.
  • from the linked NY Times article:

    “In losing Mark Hurd, the H.P. board failed to act in the best interest of H.P.’s employees, shareholders, customers and partners,” Mr. Ellison wrote.

    Even those who side with the HP board in their decision would agree with Mr. Ellison on that point. The issue is not whether the board damaged HP, of course they did, it is whether the greater good of enforcing ethical conduct was served by doing so.

  • by sirwired (27582) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:46AM (#33204272)

    Larry Ellison runs Oracle like his own personal fiefdom. He's very good at what he does, but he's the last person on earth I'd ask for advice on executive boundaries. His attitude fits in very well with Oracle's corporate culture (which he built.) It would be a disaster for HP.

    Oracle's board would never fire him for such a thing (could they even do so?), but HP's board was quite right in tossing Hurd to the curb.

    HP's board made a tough choice, but in the end, I think it will have proven to be the correct one.

    SirWired

  • HP board was right (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CHK6 (583097) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:20AM (#33204628)
    The thought of a playboy CEO at HP is not the proper image to send. Oracle on the other hand prefers this image. It's not just the sexual harassment charge by itself, it's the addition of the $20K cover up too link directly to the woman making the charges. Sorry Mark, you got busted. If these two issues were separate, then yes Larry might have a point. but that's not the case. We all know hush money was paid and the rug was lifted to get this swept under.

    To add insult to injury this consultant's track record of being a soft core porn star and a reality star wanna-be, isn't something I thought HP hired as a professional planning contractor. But then again Tiger Woods had a contractor too.
  • They just aren't allowed to say it out loud.

    Don't fool yourself. Boards don't give a damn about CEOs and top managers sexually harassing employees (even if it wasn't the case here) and they couldn't care less about expense account abuses (record companies executives anyone? hookers and blow etc.) or about rampant corruption. They only care when any of it goes public, then heads have to roll (damage control and PR bullshit). This is what happened here.
  • Worried that your board might show you the door?

  • If Rupert Murdoch is on Hurd's side, Hurd must be a dirtbag. Rupert Murdoch has time and again proven himself to be the slimiest of the slime.

  • Some nasty comments on this thread. I've worked for a (US) company where the management basically decided to get rid of two very competent VPs and came up with some very trumped up charges, so I know that dirty office politics is often more to blame than anything else. This smells of excuses, not a cover up.

    A quick look at the HP share price also suggests what a lot of influential people may think; the sudden fall off the side of a cliff suggests a perception that either this is seen as a bad move which wil

  • by lotho brandybuck (720697) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:13PM (#33205344) Homepage Journal
    High priced party consultant: $20k

    Severance Pay: $40M Not having to live through the consequences of accidently buying a behind the curve smartphone manufacturer, and having your CEO buddies think you were booted for sexy stuff: Priceless.

  • by NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:22PM (#33206994)
    He should have said that he thought this was the worst train of thought since his crazy idea of network computers replacing desktops in the mid 90's.

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