H-P Drama Heats Up, Stock Hit

As we predicted, new revelations at H-P are elevating the Spy vs. Spy boardroom drama to another level. An article in The New York Times yesterday (registration required) recounts an H-P executive branch that seems as out of control as the Nixon Whitehouse. So far today the stock is down 4% and CEO Hurd is going to hold a press conference. Today’s Wall Street Journal article on H-P (subscription required) insinuates that the CEO knew more than previously thought.

No need to editorialize about yesterday’s Times article. Stitch together excerpts and you get a top notch corporate thriller:  A H-P internal dossier subtitled “Covert Operations” discusses feasibility studies about placing investigators acting as clerical employees or cleaning crews in the San Francisco offices of CNET and The Wall Street Journal. Phases of the operation were code named Kona I and Kona II. I repeat the headline from my initial Sept. 8 post on this topic: How can you be so stupid?

Significantly, the Times story is co-authored by Damon Darlin, who has been writing about the scandal from the outset, and Kurt Eichenwald, the Times’ venerable investigative business reporter. Eichenwald’s most recent book is “Conspiracy of Fools,” about Enron. Does he smell a book here? Mark Rose in New York 

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