No surprise here, although the board seems to have been the only body in the country that clearly couldn’t see this coming. Patricia Dunn is leaving the HP board immediately.
I disagree with those like Dan Gillmor who reckons the Augean stables should be cleansed, but it’s a huge error for CEO Mark Hurd to take the chairmanship. Leaving aside the conflict in corporate governance (most American firms don’t seem to care about this), shouldn’t the board try as hard as it can to allow him to focus on running the business? He’ll instead need to spend an inordinate amount of time staunching the bad news, dealing with regulators, lawsuits and his own involvement in the spying scandal.
If Hurd is as involved in the scandal as some of yesterday’s news reports suggest, he may well have to go. And then where would HP be? There couldn’t be a clearer argument for a fresh, authoritative, independent chair for the corporation.