When we read the report in the San Jose Mercury News on Tuesday that venture capitalist and former Hewlett-Packard board member Tom Perkins was making pointed remarks about corporate governance—including some fierce jabs at former H-P board chair Pattie Dunn—we all thought: why bring this up now?
After all, Tom won this fight last year, right? Pattie lost her position at the head of the board table, then had to leave the board altogether. She became a "fallen" or "disgraced" "former corporate leader." Her name became synonymous with corporate scandal, and especially pretexting. She was indicted by the California attorney general. She even got cancer. Isn't it time to leave Pattie in peace? Even DealBreaker hadn't picked on "Pattie Cakes" for months.
So why now? We thought maybe it was the book. Tom's got his memoirs coming out soon. Maybe he wants the publicity. It sounds a bit cheap to drag a sick, unemployed and indicted woman's shame back before the public just to sell a few more copies of a book. Especially when you are already rich enough to afford a $100 million yacht. Does Tom Perkins really need to worry about whether his book sells?
Today the Wall Street Journal's editorial page runs the full text of the speech that was reported earlier in the Mercury News. And there's one line that might shed some light on why Tom is dragging out the whole H-P thing again instead of sailing around the South Pacific.
And so, when the "wet kiss" Cnet.com article about how great Mark Hurd was at strategy appeared, Ms. Fiorina and I agree that Ms. Dunn launched the now infamous "Kona" spying investigation aimed at ridding the board of those directors (the tech committee) most familiar with strategy, whom Pattie assumed were the "evil" leakers. All this is documented in a characteristically long-winded New Yorker article of Feb. 19.
That's right! It was the New Yorker! And it's long-windedness!
Of course, we have no idea what Tom's talking about because, let's face it, it was the New Yorker. That's the magazine that's read by people who want to appear brainy but don't really want to be bothered with doing stuff like learning very much. But we'll check it out and report back.
See how far we'll go for you? We'll even read the New Yorker!
The 'Compliance' Board [Wall Street Journal]