Business Ethics and Governance Issues at HP: The Pretexting Controversy
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Case Code : BECG070
Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 2005-06
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : HP
Industry : Computer Hardware
Countries : US
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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.
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Confidential Information Reaches the Press
A detailed account of these boardroom discussions made their way into The Wall Street Journal, titled "Hewlett-Packard Board Considers Reorganization" on January 24, 2005.
The article reported that some of Fiorina's key responsibilities would be distributed among other executives and gave details of the proposed reorganization According to the article, "At its annual planning meeting between January 12 and January 15, HP's board discussed giving three senior executives more authority and autonomy over key operating units, according to people familiar with the matter. The board also has asked Thomas Perkins, a prominent venture capitalist and a former HP director, to rejoin the board, these people said." Shocked to find such highly confidential matters being reported in the press, the board asked HP's outside Counsel, Larry Sonsini (Sonsini) to investigate into the matter...
The Investigations (Kona I And Kona II)
During the first phase of investigation, in February 2005, Dunn approached Bob Wayman (Wayman), acting CEO, the CFO, and the Director of Administration of the company for advice on finding a solution to the problem.
Wayman referred her to Kevin Huska (Huska), who worked for Global
Security in HP.
In a meeting between Dunn and a, it was decided that the services of Ronald DeLia (DeLia) from Security Outsourcing Solutions (SOS), who had worked for HP for over eight years could be used for the investigation. DeLia's services had been used by HP on several occasions, especially by the Human Resources department for background checks. He was also involved in conducting background checks on Hurd. In April 2005, DeLia informed Dunn that as a part of investigation, some phone records had to be obtained whereupon Dunn gave the home, office, and mobile phone numbers of HP's board members to him. DeLia contacted Florida-based Action Research Group (ARG), where Matthew Depante (Depante) was a manager, to get the telephone records...