HP Lives Up to Its Old Tagline

HP took the advice of its PR counsel when the company cut ties with CEO Michael Hurd—who has been accused of sexual harassment—according to this story in The New York Times.

About the only person I agree with in the article is Northwestern professor Shane Greenstein who has the guts to state what should be obvious:

“There is a missing piece here because it doesn’t make sense.”

Greenstein is right. Something smells “invented” here, hidden under the virtuous cloak of “doing the right thing.” And while that may or may not be true, HP doesn’t do itself any favors by peppering its own press releases with fabricated quotes, like this one from interim CEO Cathie Lesjak:

“The scale, global reach, broad portfolio, financial strength and, very importantly, the depth and talent of the HP team are sustainable advantages that uniquely position the company for the future.”

When will companies learn that people don’t talk like this? And that this kind of ludicrous double-talk is a red flag to media, and to readers, that they are being handed the same old corporate baloney on a bun.

Perhaps HP’s PR counsel needs some PR counsel.