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Snooping Scandal Costs HP Chairwoman Her Job
HP chairman quits over ‘spy row’
chairman of Hewlett-Packard (HP) is to step down from the role amid
criticism for demanding a probe into leaks about the firm made to the
media.Patricia Dunn will resign as chairman of the board in January,
but will remain a non-executive director.She apologised for the
unorthodox investigation of other boardmembers, which included hiring
undercover consultants who posed as journalists.
Chief executive Mark Hurd will become chairman in the reshuffle.
US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee has ordered
HP to hand over records related to its internal inquiry into boardroom
leaks.California and US authorities have been investigating whether any
laws were broken during the investigation.”I am taking action to ensure
that inappropriate investigative techniques will not be employed
again,” Mr Hurd said.”They have no place in HP.”
a bid to discover which employee had leaked “confidential” reports to
the press, investigators obtained the phone records and other data of
journalists and HP employees without their permission.The practice,
known as “pretexting”, is a common one among private investigators –
but tests the limits of California state laws, as prosecutors believe
it violates laws covering identity theft and unauthorised access to
computer data.In a statement, Ms Dunn apologised for the techniques
used.”Unfortunately, the investigation, which was conducted with third
parties, included certain inappropriate techniques,” she said.”These
went beyond what we understood them to be, and I apologize that they
were employed.”Last week, Ms Dunn said she had no idea of the tactics
to which private investigators would resort, adding she was “appalled”
that journalists had been targeted.
member George Keyworth was identified as the source of the leak.Mr
Keyworth stated that he had leaked information but refused to step
down, despite being asked to.As a penalty, HP barred him from seeking
re-election to the board.
Author2006-09-13 at 12:09:00 pm
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