‘The Worst Board In The History Of Business.’

HP is surprisingly resilient in the teeth of a relentless boardroom barrage on the company’s effectiveness.

CEO Carly Fiorina fired 18,000 people, bought Compaq when the PC business was well into its commoditisation stage, and was sacked.

HP’s late Chairwoman Patricia Dunn was sacked for employing private detectives to spy on board members.


Dunn appointed Mark Hurd as CEO who fired thousands and was then sacked for sexual malpractice.


Leo Apotheker came in and bought the software company Autonomy for $10bn, launched a disastrous tablet, and was sacked.


Now Meg Whitman, the CEO of HP who was formerly CEO of eBay and an unsuccessful contestant for the Governorship of California, says she’ll sack 27,000 employees.


No wonder that, Tom Perkins, co-founder of Silicon Valley’s top VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers and a long-time board member of HP, said last year that the HP board was: “The worst board in the history of business.”



  1. I bet they have all walk out with massive payouts and bonuses. It is typical these days of senior management making wrong decisions and then start firing workers to recoup profits to achieve their bonuses and stock returns. Sad but true.

  2. Yes Sceppers Meg must be about half way through her term of office now, judging by the tenures of her predecessors, so the board at HP should have gotbthevrecruitment process well underway by now. Ed has just what it takes to be HP CEO.

  3. Have the recruitment parasites (sorry ‘executives’) missed a trick here ? Surely Ed must be next in line for a post at HP..

  4. The worst board must be the 2006 Board at Atmel that handled the shambolic treatment of George Perlegos in firing him as CEO.
    The second worst board must be the current Board at Atmel who reward Laub at a greater level than the CEO of Intel for pisspoor results.
    The HP board come in a distant 3rd.

  5. Well maybe, Robert, but I gather DLP is the biggest part of TI’s MEMS revenues just as gyroscopes for Apple represent over half ST’s MEMS revenues.

  6. Corporate hierarchies is only a means to an end of itself. Restricts the flow of information and hinders innovation.
    Trivial and medium cognitive tasks can be replaced by computers. Heck, in the 90’s Kasparov was schooled by raw number crunching. Nowadays we get a beating in Jeopardy. Stock market AI’s running amok have become the news of yesterday.
    I say, let machines like Watson handle the business intelligence, etc.., and scrap 95% of the fluff “management”.
    There: Problem solved. 🙂

  7. I have a theory that peak competence in technoogy companies is at the level of engineering managers running small teams of 10 to 20 people. Below that level, you have engineers with a range of talent. And above that level you can hide your incompetence through the competent managers beneath you.
    The older I get, the more respect I have for the engineering managers and the more contempt for those higher up the food chain.
    So the secret is to get past that last critical level where competence is a must and then roll downhill to the level of the baboons at board level. How to do that, I haven’t yet worked out.

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