HP Is Committing “Corporate Suicide” Says Former Director

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Hewlett-Packard is committing “corporate suicide,” says one of its former directors.

As Tom Perkins told the New York Times:

“I didn’t know there was such a thing as corporate suicide, but now we know that there is. It’s just astonishing.”

Perkins isn’t just some disgruntled former HP employee — he’s a big name in HP history and Silicon Valley.

He was recruited by Dave Hewlett and Bill Packard way back in 1963 to help oversee the company’s research lab way back, and was the first VP of its computer business.

In 1973, he cofounded Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield, and Byers, which became one of Silicon Valley’s most important and successful VC firms. He joined HP’s board in 2001 from Compaq, and was a big voice in favour of the merger.

In 2006, Perkins quit the board when it came out that HP had spied on its boardmembers to try and flesh out who was leaking information to the press.

It’s pretty easy to find HP critics these days — the stock is down almost 50% since former CEO Mark Hurd was forced out last August, and down almost 20% since last week. But Perkins was one of the few to go on the record to the Times.