Goodbye, Patricia

The HP spying investigation is getting stranger by the day. When the company reported that its chairwoman, Patricia Dunn, was going to step down as of January, many of us knew that wouldn’t hold — she had to go, and she had to go now. Only a few days later, after more revelations, she resigned effective immediately on Sept. 22.

But what about the new chairman, CEO Mark Hurd? He’s presided over a remarkable turnaround; HP’s fortunes and reputation have improved tremendously since he took over from the disastrous Carly Fiorina. It would be a significant blow to HP were he to be forced out due to this scandal — but that’s a real possibility, given numerous reports that Hurd was in the loop regarding Dunn’s espionage on board members and journalists.

Indeed, as reported in this Fortune story published that same day, Hurd admits to having known that HP was involved with questionable activities. Isn’t it his job to intervene? It doesn’t look good for Hurd, and it doesn’t look good for HP.

Z Trek Copyright (c) Alan Zeichick