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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Dunn is Done at Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard ordered their steak Well Dunn.

This morning Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) announced that Patricia Dunn will remain as chairman through the company's Jan. 18, 2007, board meeting. Mark Hurd, the company's chief executive officer and president, will succeed her and retain his existing positions. Dunn will continue to serve as a director.

Richard Hackborn, who has served on the board since 1992, has been designated lead independent director, effective in January. In addition to having been chairman of the company in 2000, he spent 33 years as an HP employee, concluding his career in 1993 as head of the PC and personal information product business.

If anyone cares what Patricia Dunn said: "The recent events that have taken place follow an important investigation that was required after the board sought to resolve the persistent disclosure of confidential information from within its ranks. These leaks had the potential to affect not only the stock price of HP but also that of other publicly traded companies. Unfortunately, the investigation, which was conducted with third parties, included certain inappropriate techniques. These went beyond what we understood them to be, and I apologize that they were employed. I am very proud of the progress HP has made over the past 18 months. During the remainder of my tenure as chairman, I look forward to completing the transition that is underway, including expanding the board, continuing to improve our corporate governance standards and bringing the current issues to resolution."

It looks like the name of Tuesday is shaping up to be Axe-Day. Maybe someone should call the Home Depot (HD) board to show them what good can come from firing a bad CEO or asking him to leave without any choice. The street would even forgive a high severance so long as it means they get rid of him.

Doug telegraphed to the company yesterday in article posted HERE what the company should do, so maybe they listened. Shares of HPQ are up 0.75% at $36.63 on the news.

Jon C. Ogg
September 12, 2006
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