Assignment about an ethical crisis
HP SPY CASE
Hewlett-Packard was suffering from ongoing leaking of information to the media. A few examples of HP boardroom leaks included board room discussions in 2000 to buy the consulting arm of Price Waterhouse Coopers and the decision to merge with Compaq in 2001. It was so clear that Board members were in disagreement inside the board room and so they had chosen to speak outside.
As Chairman of the Board, Patricia Dunn, had ordered a probe into how information was being leaked to the press. The investigators obtained the personal phone records of some directors, and at least two reporters covering HP. The investigation conducted by a company hired by HP used an illegal and unethical technique called “pretexting” to obtain the personal phone records of silicon.com sister site, CNET News.com reporters Dawn Kawamoto and Tom Krazit. The investigators determined the source of the leaks to the media. The board member responsible for the leak was reported as Jay Keyworth , HP’s longest serving director.
The issue was raised by a non-executive director who resigned earlier in protest over the investigation, and took his complaint to the legal authorities. Patricia Dunn claimed she did not know beforehand the methods the investigators used to try to determine the source of the leak. After the raising of this scandal, in the attempt to defuse the crisis, HP announced that Ms Dunn would step down as chairman and will be replaced by Mark Hurd, chief executive, but will remain a director at the company. Patricia Dunn said that " The unauthorized disclosure of confidential informationwas a serious violation of ıur code of conduct" . Also three other HP executives have resigned , of which one of them was chief ethics director of the company.
These were good actions to handle the crisis and created positive effect to company's shares in stock exchange. But I don't beleive that HP showed the best effort to manage the...