Home > business, management > Judgment, Integrity, Credibility, Honesty, And $53M

Judgment, Integrity, Credibility, Honesty, And $53M

The often (but not always) incestuous relationship between hand picked corpo board of directors yes-men and CEOs has come to the fore again: “HP orders probe into Hurd’s departure”. Why would Hewlett Packard, as represented by its board of derelicts, I mean directors, investigate their own handling of Hurd’s dismissal? They’re not doing it because it’s the right thing to do. They’re only doing it because they’re being forced to:

“HP’s plan for an outside investigation follows a lawsuit in San Jose, Calif., by shareholders who allege that the company’s directors wasted money by giving Hurd $53 million in severance.”

Yepp, a gift of $53 million to Mr. Hurd for exhibiting:

A profound lack of judgment. It (Hurd’s dismissal) had to do with integrity, it had to do with credibility and it had to do with honesty.” – Mike Holston, HP’s general counsel

After doling out that kind of dough, can’t the same be said about HP’s board? Well, that’s what we may find out after the dust settles. In the meantime, HP’s board may have gotten what they deserved. Mr. Hurd has Madoff nicely by skidaddling over to one of HP’s biggest competitors, Oracle Inc. He and his buddy, Oracle oracle Larry Ellison, sure do know how to make money.

“Mark did a brilliant job at HP and I expect he’ll do even better at Oracle,” said CEO Larry Ellison in a statement.

The real question is: “How isolated are these types of incidents?“. Just because they get reported in the press doesn’t mean that dishonesty runs rampant in the bozone layers of big business. Nevertheless, it begs the question: “Is the taken-for-granted, rarely-questioned process in which CEOs and boards of directors are chosen broken?“. Boards anoint CEOs (who coincidentally are often the chairman of the board) and CEOs nominate board members for election. What do you think of the process? How can it be made better?

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