HP was a company that changed how we looked at work with their unbelievably brilliant “HP Way,” that detailed specifically how a company should treat its employees by removing creativity strangling manager relationships and shattering the overall orthodox idea of what work should be. HP was so iconic that even the extremely critical Steve Jobs admired the company even though it was his arch rival in global computer sales. But HP is not that company anymore as we all know by viewing its stock price (14.09 HPQ, even though they are the number 1 PC maker in the world! HP has lost its way and everyone seems to think that Mark Hurd not being at the helm is the reason for its recent decline. I’m of course referring to the former CEO who was forced to resign for wasting company money to lure a former Playboy model into “event planning,” for HP.
Many people blamed the board of directors for forcing him to resign after uncover his inappropriate use of company money because HP was on top at the time. Let’s first say that the board of directors did their job and Mark Hurd was a worse CEO that HP has ever had. Anyone that works for HP any of the 10 year old or older divisions sense the “HP Way” being implemented but very slightly since Hurd was at the helm. New acquisition divisions like HP Enterprise Services, or software units can honestly say HP has not changed much after buying them out. Hurd was all about pumping high numbers to mask discontent to sooth stock holders but behind the scenes any HP employee will tell you what really happened.
Hurd bought companies to bloat his ego and cut corners in that new division to make it appear like a solid investment to an outsider. The Electronic Data Systems purchase was a prime example of how Hurd had no intention of doing his job and making it an actual HP division. He cut salaries, holiday pay, and benefits for practically all their employees upon purchase of their contracts and used the “be lucky you have a job,” tactic to force his new employees into silence. But was their justice brought to Mark Hurd for his actions and lack of leadership after his scandal? If you consider a 50 million dollar golden parachute and another 7 figure executive position with Oracle (HP’s rival) punishment for being a sleazy CEO Justice, then yeah, he sure did. HP needs to go back to the “HP Way,” and realize that what Hurd was doing is what brought you to your current situation.