API Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Ruxit Blog, William Schmarzo, Derek Weeks

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
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Niagara Networks will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Embotics, the cloud automation company, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Embotics is the cloud automation company for IT organizations and service providers that need to improve provisioning or enable self-service capabilities. With a relentless focus on delivering a premier user experience and unmatched customer support, Embotics is the fas...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service. 

Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
In the next forty months – just over three years – businesses will undergo extraordinary changes. The exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will see a step function change in how businesses create value, satisfy customers, and outperform their competition. In the next forty months companies will take the actions that will see them get to the next level of the game called Capitalism. Or they won’t – game over. The winners of today and tomorrow think differently, follow different...
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), sponsor of the IoTivity open source project, and AllSeen Alliance, which provides the AllJoyn® open source IoT framework, today announced that the two organizations’ boards have approved a merger under the OCF name and bylaws. This merger will advance interoperability between connected devices from both groups, enabling the full operating potential of IoT and representing a significant step towards a connected ecosystem.
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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Streamlyzer will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Streamlyzer is a powerful analytics for video streaming service that enables video streaming providers to monitor and analyze QoE (Quality-of-Experience) from end-user devices in real time.