Monday, August 9, 2010

Deemed To Be Amusing

A reader comments on firing of HP CEO Mark Hurd

"And it has stunted a decade-long search by H.P.’s employees for stability and pride at the patriarch of Silicon Valley companies."

I currently work for HP. Mark Hurd is loathed, detested, and reviled by every rank and file employee I have ever talked to. 

Any attempt to portray him as a stabilizing influence within the company is laughable. The glee in the cubicles when the HP company email announcing his resignation came out on Friday was palpable.

As grunts we are required to watch insipid HP videos that instruct us on sexual harassment and proper HP ethics. No exceptions to the must-watch rule. Apparently, Mark Hurd couldn't fit this into his busy schedule.

Pride? Stability? There are layoffs after layoffs after layoffs. Mark Hurd's utopian vision of the company would be having 99% percent of HP employees living and working in India and China and only the executives left in Palo Alto. The executives, of course, would be entitled to 99% of the corporation's annual budgeted compensation.

I took not one, but two, pay cuts last year. Meanwhile, Hurd made $25 million in 2009 (and $42 million in 2008) of which just $1.3 million was from salary. So when he sent out his "I am going to share your pain" email announcing that he was cutting his own salary by 20%, this was greeted by hoots of derision and only served to reinforce the universal belief here was a person totally tone deaf about the peons who helped him earn his disgraceful compensation.

Finally, Jodie Fisher accuses Hurd of sexual harassment but claims their relationship was not sexual. Quite bizarre. I guess paying hush money does not violate any HP ethics standards to the extent that it would preclude Hurd from collecting his $12 million severance payout.

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