Hewlitt-Packard Corporate Governance Assignment
Considering how well Hewlitt-Packard performed during his tenure, perhaps Mark Hurd was the right man for the job despite his shortcomings. Likewise, the hastened hiring of Leo Apotheker in late 2010 signified another apparent blunder by the H-P board, as he possessed neither the credentials nor aptitude to lead such a large and dynamic company to success. What do these two situations share in common? A myopic Board of Directors, well intentioned yet poorly qualified to make decisions of such magnitude. The H-P board was complicit in multiple hiring errors in the process of choosing Mr. Apotheker, and later paid the price for his premature departure. Due to the bitter Hurd dispute, the Board of Directors required a complete renovation. However, internal strife persisted even among those who remained, which had a dramatic impact on the CEO selection process. By paring down the search committee to only four members, with the remainder failing to care to even take the time to interview potential candidates, the new CEO was walking in a minefield. H-P, as indicated in the Bylaws in Proposal No. 1, desires Board members with the “highest professional and personal ethics and values, consistent with longstanding H-P values and standards.” However, a closer analysis of the now 17-person board reveals only four Directors whom have sat for more than five years on the board. It is unreasonable to expect such a naïve board to have any credibility in maintaining the values and standards which made H-P what it is today over the course of the last seven plus decades. This further reinforces a shortsighted approach to corporate governance, with a reliance and bias towards recent experience and those with little to no scope for a company the size of H-P. Evaluating the new Board of Directors from a broader approach reveals a few issues with independence, expertise, and diversity. First, immediately after the firing of Mr....
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