HP Autonomy, EDS Unit Inquiries: More Boardroom Leaks?HP Autonomy, EDS Unit Inquiries: More Boardroom Leaks?
Question: What's the difference between Hewlett-Packard's (NYSE: HPQ) board and The Wall Street journal? Answer: Wait a few hours and HP's board will leak the answer to The Journal. The latest case in point: The Wall Street Journal claims HP has received acquisition inquiries involving the company's Autonomy and EDS business units.
January 17, 2013
boardroom leaksQuestion: What’s the difference between Hewlett-Packard’s (NYSE: HPQ) board and The Wall Street journal? Answer: Wait a few hours and HP’s board will leak the answer to The Journal. The latest case in point: The Wall Street Journal claims HP has received acquisition inquiries involving the company’s Autonomy and EDS business units. Now who do you suppose leaked the story to the Journal?
Over the past three to five years, confidential HP information — the potential PC unit spin-off, the pending Autonomy acquisition, the drama of HP spying on journalists — has surfaced in The Journal, Newsweek and other big media outlets. In some cases the leaks involved HP’s board. In others, the board didn’t properly enforce silence within the halls of HP.
This time around the story goes something like this: HP CEO Meg Whitman has suggested a turnaround will require multiple years to complete. Then in an SEC filing, HP suggested the company will “also continue to evaluate the potential disposition of assets and businesses that may no longer help us meet our objectives.” Apparently, potential suitors read that statement and inquired about the Autonomy and EDS businesses. Note: Sources say Whitman has no interest in selling those businesses, according to ZDNet.
It’s Deja Vu All Over Again
But here’s the far more important point: How do highly confidential HP matters continue to surface in The Journal? For a new HP to truly emerge, shouldn’t the leaks stop? Or does someone on the board — or close to HP — want to start a public debate about the retention (or disposal) of certain HP businesses?
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