Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Jean-Louis Gassée is suspicious about Mark Hurd's exit

Jean-Louis Gassée's latest Monday Note included some speculation regarding Mark Hurd's abrupt exit from Hewlett-Packard. The following was noted:

When a CEO gets the boot, a modicum of decorum is usually observed . Not this time. From HP’s General Counsel we hear that “Mark demonstrated a profound lack of judgment that seriously undermined his credibility and damaged his effectiveness in leading HP”. And that’s on the record.

In her memo to the troops, Cathy Lesjak, HP’s CFO and now interim CEO, accuses Hurd of “misusing corporate assets,” referring to the illegitimate expense reports and alleged payments to the erstwhile soft-porn actress for work not performed.


HP maligns Hurd, accuses him of what lay people call fraud… and then grants him an exit package worth tens of millions of dollars, $35M according to unverified estimates.

This didn't add up to Gassée, who predicted:

In the next few weeks we’re certain to get a clearer picture of the inside animosity directed at the cost-cutting, Wall Street-pleasing CEO. His alleged misconduct may turn out to have been nothing more than a convenient pretext....

However, if this were the case, it would only succeed if the board could hold off the shareholders, who DEMAND cost-cutting and stuff like that.

However, that should be easy. Boards can pretty much always do what they want, despite what the shareholders may demand.

Hmm...does Carl Icahn own any stock in HP?
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