A year ago, Mark Hurd, chief executive of Hewlett Packard, was forced out of his position because of “allegations of sexual harassment and expense account irregularities.” A story in today’s NYTimes reports on the consequences of that action: Under the new leadership, HP’s stock has dropped 49% over the past year, which is just a symptom of much larger problems they have under the new CEO.
Compare that to the results Mark Hurd had gotten in his 6 year reign:
“pro forma earnings leaped 242 percent on a 57 percent gain in revenue (to $120.4 billion); H.P.’s stock price rose 130 percent, to over $45 a share; free cash flow surged 138 percent and operating margins doubled.”
And this change in leadership was made because of an unfounded sexual harassment claim and some expense account irregularities?
This is an example of how guys can suddenly go from “good” to “bad” in a heartbeat — one incident, based on unfounded truths and perpetuated stereotypes of men as sexual predators and purveyors of corporate greed. It ends up having untold consequences not just for the man involved, but for a billion dollar company. It happens in politics, business, sports and pop culture, where ever men are seen as leaders they are just as quickly shot down from that position.
What is the next round of consequences that has to happen before that stops?