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September 5, 2006

Report: Hewlett-Packard spied on board's calls

Posted by Kim Peterson at 5:32 PM

A simply bizarre story out of Newsweek: Hewlett-Packard Chairwoman Patricia Dunn hired electronic security experts to spy on the phone conversations of other board members.

Dunn reportedly suspected a director of leaking information to online news site CNet, and snooped into the telephone records of the directors' personal accounts, including their cellphones and home telephones.

Dunn and HP would not comment for the article, which was based on documents the SEC is considering whether to make public.

Tom Perkins, the "Perkins" in Silicon Valley VC heavyweight Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, said he quit the board immediately upon hearing about Dunn's actions. Over the past several months he has battled HP to make public the reasons for his resignation. The person who did leak was outed, the story said, but is unnamed and continues to serve on the board. (Board of directors list here)

Update: Today the Wall Street Journal names George Keyworth as the source of the media leak. Keyworth was a former science adviser to President Ronald Reagan. The board asked Keyworth to resign, the story said, but he refused, saying that decision was up to shareholders. (Link, sub. required).

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