Case5_HP_case - Case 5 Hewlett-Packards Secret Surveillance...

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Case 5: Hewlett-Packard’s Secret Surveillance of Directors and Journalists TEACHING NOTE FOR: HEWLETT-PACKARD’S SECRET SURVEILLANCE OF DIRECTORS AND JOURNALISTS This case illustrates the following themes and concepts discussed in the chapters listed: Theme/Concept Chapter Stakeholder analysis 1 Ethical reasoning 4 Organizational ethics and the law 5 Corporate governance 14 Case Synopsis: In 2006, HP admitted it had hired outside investigators to spy on members of its board of directors and journalists to uncover the source of several leaks of confidential board deliberations. The investigators used methods, including “pretexting” (using an assumed identity in order to access others’ telephone records) which were possibly illegal and almost certainly unethical. Newsweek summed up the situation: “Lying, spying, name- calling, finger-pointing—all of it is a tragicomedy that Shakespeare might have penned if he had gotten an MBA.” This case uses primary documents to present various perspectives on HP’s leak investigations, including those of the non-executive chairman, CEO, former CEO, various board members, managers, and investigators. What problem was HP attempting to address in its investigation? Did the company’s behavior conform to accepted standards of good corporate governance? Were its methods ethical? What, if anything, should the company and its chairman, Patricia Dunn, have done differently? How could HP’s new CEO, Mark Hurd, best assure effective governance and ethical behavior in the future? TEACHING TIP: VIDEOS Several videotapes are available for use with this case. These are: “HP CEO, Chairman Testify at Hearing,” News Hour with Jim Lehrer (PBS), September 28, 2006 (9 minutes). In this segment, Kwame Holman reports on the congressional hearing where HP CEO Mark Hurd and former chairwoman Patricia Dunn testified about HP’s use of pretexting and other possibly illegal and/or unethical methods to investigate boardroom leaks. The segment includes statements by several members of Congress and by Dunn, Hurd, and outside counsel Larry Sonsini. It may be used to introduce the case discussion. The segment is available through streaming video at . It is also included on the DVD that is packaged with the instructor’s materials provided with the textbook, under the title, “Under Fire: HP Hearings.” Case 5-1
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Case 5: Hewlett-Packard’s Secret Surveillance of Directors and Journalists “Interview with Pattie Dunn,” 60 Minutes (CBS), first aired October 8, 2006 (12 minutes). In an interview with Lesley Stahl shortly after her indictment on criminal charges in connection with HP’s pretexting, Dunn makes the case for her innocence. She explains why she believed a leak investigation was necessary and the nature of her role in it. She also describes the board meeting where the identity of the leaker was exposed and charges former director Tom Perkins with a “campaign of deceit” that led to her ouster from the board. The segment may be used to introduce the case discussion
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  • Fall '09
  • Gough
  • Business Law, Chairman, Hewlett-Packard Company

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