Tuesday, September 12, 2006
HP Chairwoman to Step Down
Patricia Dunn, the chairwoman of Hewlett Packard, who contributed in firing then CEO Carly Fiorina will step down in January 2007 in the wake of the illegal investigation of her own board directors.
Dunn is No. 17 among Forbes the 100 most powerful women in 2005. No 16. is Zoe Cruz of the Morgan Stanley; and Marjorie Scardino is the No. 18.
The investigation authorized by Ms. Dunn employed illegal techniques to obtain private phone records of HP directors and journalists who cover this topic in order to conduct a cross-matching. Director George Keyworth was blamed for leaking information to journalists, and was asked to resign. Unhappy with the way the investigation and the disclosure had been handled, director Tom Perkins quit in protest.
HP submitted a brief notice to the SEC regarding Mr. Perkins's resignation, without revealing the reason. In a letter to HP, Mr. Perkins wrote: '...... my disagreement concerns probable unlawful conduct, improper board procedures, and breakdowns in corporate governance, it constitutes a disagreement 'on any matter relating to the registrants operations, policies or practices' requiring disclosure to the SEC under...the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002." Perkins also warned that he was "legally obliged to disclose publicly the reasons for my resignation. This is a very sad duty."
Ms. Dunn's secret operation violates California state laws regarding protection of privacy and unauthorized access to computer database.