“Some at H.P. Knew Early of Tactics,” by Damon Darlin and Matt Richel, New York Times, 20 September 2006, C1.
Long-time tdaxp readers will note that I was an early nemesis of the executive staff of H.P. Among other things I’ve accused them of
- cataclysmic disaster
- complete failure
- destruction of morale
- foolish pedagogy
- refusing to communicate
and other ills. Like all lovers of sanity, I was delighted when former CEO Carly Fiorina was fired. Yet the epic H.P. spying debacle has shown that Fiorina was just the tip of the ice-berg… and that H.P. wickedness extends all the way to my temporary home of Nebraska.
The disclosure came Tuesday as investigators examined the role of a man in the Omaha area who may have obtained private phone records on Hewlett-Packard’s behalf, according to people briefed on the company’s review of the operation.
California and federal prosecutors are exploring whether laws were broken in the investigation, particularly in the use of pretexting – a technique in which an investigator masquerades as someone else to obtain that person’s calling records from a phone company. The prosecutors are also trying to determine who in the company knew of the possibly illegal activity.
The Hewlett-Packard investigations were initiated early in 2005, around the time of Carleton S. Fiorina’s ouster as chairwoman and chief executive, and then resumed in January 2006. The two phases — each initiated after accounts of board members’ discussions appeared in news articles — were code-named Kona I and Kona II, according to several people who saw the company’s investigative records. The names are intriguing: Ms. Dunn’s vacation home is in Kona, Hawaii.
In addition to Hewlett-Packard directors, nine journalists and two employees, those whose phone records were obtained in the investigation included Larry W. Sonsini, the company’s outside counsel, a spokeswoman for his law firm, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, said Tuesday, confirming a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The San Jose Mercury News reported Tuesday that the records of Ms. Fiorina were also scrutinized.
At this is just one of several recent scandals involving Corporate Spying (remember the Sony/EMG’s espionage on the Department of Homeland Security?), I wonder what corporate resiliency planners think of this.