Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Pat Romanski, Stefan Bernbo, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Log Management

Java IoT: Article

HP & the Cougar

Anybody really know why Mark Hurd was forced to resign?

Anybody really know why Mark Hurd was forced to resign? We ask because the story that HP put out Friday to explain why its golden boy suddenly wasn’t its CEO anymore doesn’t make much sense especially in view of the contradictions now coming from Hurd’s side of the aisle.

If Hurd wasn’t having an affair with 50-year-old company geisha Jodie Fisher why would he fudge his expense account to cover up the fact that he had dinner with her?

HP said its investigation found Hurd didn’t sexually harass the company’s hired meeter and greeter – well, at least he didn’t violate HP’s sexual harassment policy whatever that means – and Hurd’s defenders have subsequently said that he didn’t fill out his own expense accounts – not many senior executives do – so apparently he was ousted because of a $1,000-$20,000 clerical error that doesn’t budge an HP decimal point.

Friends of Mark also claim that he did too sometimes list her as a dinner guest and paid out of his own pocket when business wasn’t discussed and say that HP’s allegations about him paying her for work she never did consisted of a meeting she was supposed to attend that was canceled at the last minute when her contract called for 30-days notice.

Ah, but if he didn’t sexually harass Ms. Fisher, who seems from her pictures to have trouble staying inside her blouse – apparently a holdover from her days of acting in raunchy flicks – then why did he settle up with her before he left HP? And what was his breast-beating last week all about, his regrets over not living up to “standards and principals of trust, respect and integrity”?

Hurd’s tennis partner Larry Ellison, who knows a thing or two about shtupping the help, blasted the HP board Monday for making “the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago. That decision nearly destroyed Apple and would have if Steve hadn’t come back and saved them.”

“In losing Mark Hurd,” Ellison told the New York Times in an e-mail, “the HP board failed to act in the best interest of HP’s employees, shareholders, customers and partners. The HP board admits that it fully investigated the sexual harassment claims against Mark and found them to be utterly false.” And, “what the expense fraud claims…reveal is an HP board desperately grasping at straws in trying to publicly explain the unexplainable; how a false sexual harassment claim and some petty expense report errors led to the loss of one of Silicon Valley’s best and most respected leaders.”

Ellison says push came to shove in the HP boardroom over whether to disclose the sexual harassment allegation. Initially the board split 6 to 4 in favor of publicizing it, a decision later made unanimous. Hurd wanted it hushed up since it was baseless.

Other friends of Mark claim relations between Hurd and the board then got contentious, citing Mark’s hair-trigger temper. Hurd reportedly decided he didn’t need the aggravation, that he might as well pick up his $30 million-$40 million golden parachute and walk; the money’s worth a third of the three-year contract he was negotiating.

His defenders blame APCO, the public relations firm that told the board it absolutely had to go public with Ms. Fisher’s claims, and HP general counsel Michael Holston, who oversaw the investigation.

Holston was originally hired by Hurd to investigate the pretexting mess of four years ago when HP was spying on its own board and members of the press. Last Friday the lawyer told Wall Street that his investigation of Hurd turned up a “systematic pattern of improper expenses and inaccurate reports as well as the disregard for the values of the HP of trust, respect and integrity that Mark himself admitted he didn’t live up to.”

Ironically, Gawker.com discovered that Hurd, HP SVP Craig Flowers and the holier-than-thou Mr. Holston had steered HP assets into covering three-quarters of the cost of a state-of-the-art data center upgrade at the $33,000-a-year Castilleja School their daughters attend complete with HP support staff. The school has deleted its thanks to the trio but the blog captured the web site before it disappeared.

Friends of Mark also claim that Hurd had enemies on the board left over from the previous regime who were disgusted with the way Hurd threw former HP chairman Patty Dunn to the wolves because of the pretexting scandal. They reportedly resented his “I am HP” attitude, ironically enough a creation of HP’s own publicity department.

However, the leadership for the anti-Hurd contingent was reportedly supplied by Mark Andreessen, who was tapped by Hurd for the board and who was ticked that HP hadn’t done that much with Opsware, which Andreessen had sold HP. Andreessen, who is now on the board’s search committee, evidently didn’t think much of Hurd’s innovation skills.

Andreessen reportedly also resisted the idea of signing a new three-year contract with Hurd. He only wanted to sign a one-year deal.

The irrepressible Henry Blodget, yes, that Henry Blodget, the ex-Merrill Lynch analyst currently banned from Wall Street and now a writer, claims HP didn’t have the evidence of fraud and embezzlement that the company alleged and that’s why Hurd was allowed to resign and walk away with close to $40 million otherwise he would have simply been fired.

Blodget is believed to be talking to Ellison, who’s talking to Hurd and his lawyers and among them they noticed that HP is now couching its claims more guardedly and ambiguously.

The clear winner here is Ms. Fisher and her lawyer Gloria Allread although friends of Mark say the check he wrote her – reportedly a few weeks ago – wasn’t “material.” Fisher, the alleged victim, put out a statement saying she was “surprised and saddened that Mark Hurd lost his job over this. That was never my intention.” My, my.

Blodget thinks that Allred blew whatever went on between Hurd and her client up out of all proportion and that APCO scared the bejesus out of the board with visions of Allred going on “talk show raving about what a horrible sex predator their CEO was and how he had demanded an innocent single mother do all sorts of heinous things and then fired her when she didn’t.”

Blodget figures the board was grateful at first for the inaccurate expense reports thinking it could oust Hurd and avoid the bad publicity and then concluded that the inaccuracies wouldn’t hold much water and that it was worth paying Hurd $40 million to avoid a wrongful termination suit.

According to friends of Mark, Hurd reportedly doesn’t know exactly how much his expense account is supposed to be out of whack although he has offered to reimburse the company. HP is now reportedly investigating the expense accounts of all senior executives.

And, given the details surfacing and the amount of ink spilt in their name, APCO might want to brush up on its damage control skills. Observers are waiting for shareholder suits to start piling up over the billions sheered off HP’s market cap by Hurd’s ouster.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, discussed recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model for ...
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2017 New York. The 20th Cloud Expo and 7th @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Internet to enable us all to im...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2017 New York The 7th Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Chris Matthieu is the co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, a revolutionary real-time IoT platform recently acquired by Citrix. Octoblu connects things, systems, people and clouds to a global mesh network allowing users to automate and control design flo...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.