Welcome!

Cognitive Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Yeshim Deniz, Bob Gourley, Aater Suleman

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 Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, 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. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
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...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi LTD., 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. Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) will be featuring the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) portfolio. This is the industry’s only offering that allows organizations to bring together object storage, file sync and share, cloud storage gateways, and sophisticated search an...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software in the hope of capturing value in IoT. Although IoT is relatively new in the market, it has already gone through many promotional terms such as IoE, IoX, SDX, Edge/Fog, Mist Compute, etc. Ultimately, irrespective of the name, it is about deriving value from independent software assets participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, 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. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, 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. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile 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. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, 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. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
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 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.
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.