It’s looking a distinct possibility if the board room shenanigans that have ripped through the firm’s leadership run a course that can only result in disaster:
As corporate intrigue goes, it is hard to beat this: an uproar over news leaks from the boardroom, a cloak-and-dagger investigation, allegations of spying and double-dealing, and a clash involving some of Silicon Valley’s best-known names that could end in lawsuits and possibly criminal charges.
It’s a story that has been widely reported in US mainstream media and in the blogosphere over the past week. (Curiously, little reporting this side of the Atlantic.) The latest I saw this afternoon is focused on the criminal investigation underway in California relating to identity theft and illegal access to computer records:
[…] The company has landed in a mounting legal and ethical debate for hiring a private investigation firm whose agents impersonated HP officials and journalists to get phone companies to hand over detailed records of home phone calls.
None of the media or blogger commentary I’ve seen is complimentary about HP’s board, with some commentary vilifying individual players in this corporate soap opera.
All the ingredients are there – intrigue, dirty deeds, power struggles, greed, wealth. Sex is all that’s missing, although it must be in there somewhere. Anyway, a good scriptwriter can easily add some spice to the story.
Whatever does happen next, HP clearly has an enormous reputation problem on its hands through the actions and consequences of a dysfunctional board. HP’s communicators have an unenviable job on their hands. If the foundation is shaky, communication can help little.
With not a happy ending in sight.