HP Chairman Could Fall in Boardroom Scandal

By John G. Spooner  |  Posted 2006-09-08 Print this article Print

HP Chairman Patricia Dunn has no intent to quit, the company said. However, she will leave if asked.

Hewlett-Packard said the chairman of its board of directors intends to stay in place, despite an unfolding scandal.

However, Patricia Dunn, chairman of HP's board of directors, will step down if asked by fellow board members, HP spokesman Michael Moeller told eWEEK on Sept. 8.

Dunn is at the center of a scandal sparked by the airing of tactics used in an internal HP investigation used to find the source of details about board of directors meetings and other activities that were given to reporters, who published them in news stories.

That investigation, authorized by Dunn and executed by a group within HP as well as outside firm, involved the use of a technique called pretexting, HP said in a Sept. 6 filing with the United States Securities Exchange Commission.

Although HP maintains that the type of pretexting used—pretexting is the process of obtaining an individual's personal data such as phone records by pretending to be that person—was lawful at the time it was used, many believe it is, at a minimum, unethical.

The investigation ultimately concluded that George Keyworth, a board member, shared information on the board's activities without authorization, HP said in its SEC filing.

However, the resulting scandal surrounding the way that HP made that discovery has led many to ask that it be investigated. They are ultimately asking the question of how far a company can and should go in an effort to sniff out corporate leaks.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: HP Chairman Could Fall in Boardroom Scandal

John G. Spooner John G. Spooner, a senior writer for eWeek, chronicles the PC industry, in addition to covering semiconductors and, on occasion, automotive technology. Prior to joining eWeek in 2005, Mr. Spooner spent more than four years as a staff writer for CNET News.com, where he covered computer hardware. He has also worked as a staff writer for ZDNET News.

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