I was wondering how long it would be until we saw these stories about HP

The news cycle on the Mark Hurd story has moved to analysis and unsurprisingly a look at HP Culture. This story from Reuters looks at decline of the “HP Way” and it is not pretty. The story calls out Hurd as it should but also looks closely at how Carly Fiorina, former head of HP and current nominee for the California senate undermined it as well:

“Fiorina — now a strong challenger to incumbent Barbara Boxer for a California Senate seat — counters that too many at HP were resistant to much-needed restructuring.

“Bill and Dave had once been radicals and pioneers. Now, I’d seen too many instances where a new idea was quickly dismissed with the comment: “We don’t do it that way. It’s not the HP Way.” The HP Way was being used as a shield against change,” she said on her website, www.carlyfiorina.com.”

I am sure Fiorina’s campaign had hoped to distance themselves from this. But the media is going to keep pulling her in. Her record at HP was already under scrutiny — Marketwatch took a hard look at her record at HP in July.

How should Fiorina’s PR team react? My recommendation is to continue to keep low. Making a statement about Hurd and his situation just brings Fiorina into the story. It’s difficult. Sometimes clients are not comfortable with the idea of saying “nothing.” But by providing nothing you are also shutting off some of the oxygen that feeds the story. I would continue to monitor the story of course for misstatements and for mutations of the story that could be more damaging. 

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