Welcome!

Cognitive Computing Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Jason Bloomberg, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Bob Gourley

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Ca...
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, introduced the technologies required for implementing these idea...
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, represent...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
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...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SSL, peer-to-peer, mob...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outlyer, a monitoring service for DevOps and operations teams, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outlyer is a monitoring service for DevOps and Operations teams running Cloud, SaaS, Microservices and IoT deployments. Designed for today's dynamic environments that need beyond cloud-scale monitoring, we make monitoring effortless so you...