I thought you might like to read the written statements provided to the House Subcommittee on Investigations, House Energy and Commerce Committee by HP CEO Mark Hurd and ex Chairwoman Patricia Dunn.
Her first header is, "Why the Leak Investigation was Necessary." She claims that one of the leaks affected the stock price, a leak in January of 2006. If you look at the days from January 21 to 31, 2006 on this chart, do you see any noticeable impact from the CNET story that seems to have driven the board stark raving mad? Here's the entire month. Same story. Steady. No dips or huge peaks. You can't help but wonder about this alleged reason for the investigation, particularly now that we discover that the investigators began snooping and pretexting poor George Keyworth and his wife and daughter back in May of 2005. What were they hoping to find? Dirt on the family? This whole story makes no sense to me. Was it all about getting him off the board by any means necessary? One can't help but ask.
The other surprise to me is that she implicates the entire board regarding the first 8K filed, the one that didn't mention Tom Perkins reasons for leaving HP, on page 26.
The summary of Hurd's testimony says:
"How did such an abuse of privacy occur in a company renowned for its commitment to privacy? The end came to justify the means. The investigation team became so focused on finding the source of the leaks that they lost sight of the privacy of reporters and others. They lost sight of the values that HP has always represented. We are making the necessary changes so that this never occurs again....
In summary, the big picture of what happened is that we began an investigation of our board for leaks and have ended up investigating our investigation. I pledge that I will dig harder and deeper and I will get to the bottom of this."
In the full-length version of his statement, he writes, "This company was built on integrity. If Bill Hewlett and David Packard were still alive, they would be appalled. They would be embarrassed. And that is the way the people in our company feel."
In spite of all that has happened, I believe him. Update: Also, here's a Business Week article with some emails written by HP staffers at an unknown date that demonstrate that Keyworth was indeed used by HP as a media contact person, just as he said. So did HP find the leaker?
Here's what Business Week tells us:
But Keyworth maintains that he was not the source of earlier leaks. HP (HPQ) has admitted that the company doesn't know who to blame for a series of stories fed to the press in 2005, despite declarations by Hurd and others that the company has gotten to the bottom of the leaks.
Now, a series of e-mails turned over to House of Representatives investigators and obtained by Business Week illustrate that Keyworth was considered a valuable asset to Hewlett-Packard's media relations team, which frequently and aggressively touted him to reporters. Indeed, the longtime HP director was one of the company's biggest boosters....
The company's public relations staff considered him a corporate booster, and frequently encouraged him to talk to reporters, even without supervision.
Mr. Keyworth has reportedly agreed not to verbally bash HP, but that doesn't mean he's a bit happy about the way he has been portrayed, as you can see in this SFGate story.