Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bad Behavior

Shining the light on the actions of those in power:

Robert Scoble, who rose to fame as Microsoft blogger and recently left for a small company, is adding his voice to those blasting HP:Corporate hypocrisy by HP

Check this out: testimony in front of the U.S. House of Representatives by HP's Scott Taylor, Chief Privacy Officer. What did he tell them? “First and foremost is that privacy is actually a core value at HP. As a company, HP is 100 percent committed to excellence in consumer and employee privacy…

Now compare that to what Patricia Dunn, chairwoman at HP apparently did. Lying. Breaking the law. And invading people's privacy.

If Patricia Dunn is ever hired to a company I'm working for I'm instantly quitting.

My comment on his blog post:

The best most of us can do is expose such bad behavior. It is up to those who control the votes of shareholders to act (which includes those representing most posting her probably - as anyone with an index mutual fund or large cap… probably owns some HP stock). If there are board members that were not in on it, they can either try and oust those that knew, or resign, or face the consequences.

Most likely the consequences won’t be much, but if the behavior is not accepted and publicity continues eventually action will be taken. As soon as most significant thought leaders turn away though the effort will likely stop. Keep up the good work publicizing such bad behavior.

One potential area for pressure against those who take such action is through other boards they sit on. And through places they might want to speak. If a business school brings her in to speak what does that say about their commitment to ethical behavior. I’m sure the school has classes on ethics but what do their actions say?

From HP's web site: "She also serves on the advisory board of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, as well as the conference board’s Center for Corporate Governance, and serves as the director and a member of the executive committee of Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco." You might ask the conference board’s Center on Corporate Governance how to oust a board chair that has broken the law and violated the policies of the company and see what they suggest. I can’t imagine they would respond to me. But they might get enough pressure if you ask them (and others take on your cause) to be compelled to respond. I think that question is exactly the type of thing they are in business to address.

And here discussion of the "anonymous hold" used to block a bill to provide the public a simple way (modeled on the search engine concept) to find out how tax dollars are spent:

Spokesman for Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) confirms that Stevens is the one with the hold and called the move "unexpected." "We met with his staff last week," he said, "and provided a detailed cost-benefit analysis of our bill. Senator Stevens then lifted his hold. Only Senator Stevens can explain why he reversed his position and reinstated his hold."

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