Jodie Fisher's Peculiar Relationship With Hewlett-Packard

Jodie Fisher has used up about 10 of her 15 minutes of fame for her role in the downfall of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) CEO Mark Hurd. Many questions in this sordid tale remain unanswered that should disturb investors.

First, why was the 50-year-old actress, whose "body" of work features films that were light on plot and heavy on nudity, hired by the number one PC maker? Fisher's statement, released through her attorney, Gloria Allred, says "At HP, I was under contract to work at high-level customer and executive summit events held around the country and abroad."

That's vague. The explanation published by Bloomberg News was even more perplexing saying her job "was to organize forums for CEOs and chief information officers that gave customers access to Hurd and other HP executives. She would gather background information on invitees and introduce executives to one another."

Fuzzy Resume

Huh? Aren't there scores of people on the HP sales staff whose job it is to know the technological needs and wants of the CEO and senior management? Maybe there are tech savvy consultants who can help HP land big tech deals, but Fisher is not one of them. Her resume -- at least what has been disclosed by Allred -- is fuzzy speaking of her recent job as a "vice president of a commercial real estate firm" and her work as a "successful salesperson for a Fortune 500 company."

Wall Street loved Hurd as much as it hated his predecessor Carly Fiorina, who is now running for the U.S. Senate from California. At least for a while. HP's shares are up more than 70% over the past five years but have dropped almost 17% this year. Yesterday, HP announced preliminary third quarter revenue of $30.7 billion up 11% compared with the prior-year period. GAAP diluted earnings per share were approximately 75 cents and $1.08 on a non-GAAP basis. How much Hurd deserves credit for is hard to say.

Layoffs at HP

But employees may not have liked him as much. In HP's case, when corporate cultures revolve around cost cutting, resentment among lower-level employees quickly builds, especially at a Chief Executive such as Hurd who earned a whopping $30 million last year. Back in 2005, Hurd announced a plan to cut more than 14,000 workers, or about 10% of HP's work force at the time. Then, last year during the recession, the company announced plans to cut another 6,000 jobs and instituted companywide pay cuts.

On top of that, Hurd reportedly submitted inaccurate expense reports related to Fisher totaling about $20,000. Now, with an exit package worth a reported $37 million, he can afford to pay it back. Fisher can use the undisclosed settlement she received from Hurd to jump-start her acting career or pay her attorney, Allred.

Sometimes companies take years to recover from scandals. Harry Stonecipher was ousted as the CEO of Boeing (BA) in 2005 after it was revealed that he had an affair with a female subordinate. The plane maker has been in a tailspin ever since because of numerous delays with the 787 Dreamliner. That's why HP will need to pick a new CEO very carefully.


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22 Comments

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relyag

I would suggest HP consider Peter Blackmore, an outstanding executive
from Compaq who Carly Fiorina fired, to fill the CEO position

Peter Blackmore cared enough for a Compaq customer complaint to go
out of his way to rectify the situation. I had purchased a Compaq
PC, it turned out to be defective, after taking it in for service ten
times in three months, and after many Compaq executives ignored my
problem, I emailed Peter Blackmore.
I contacted Peter Blackmore through his email address. He responded
immediately, replaced the defective PC, had his secretary follow through
with the delivery.

Needless to say I will always be a HP Customer because an executive
cared enough to provide an unknown customer the best service possible.

HP could use someone of his caliber to head up the ship. Customer service
is so important and a rare event in this world.

Thank you,
Mary Gayler
1613 W. Esperanza
McAllen, Tx. 78501
Tele: 956-630-1682

August 10 2010 at 5:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cchucklest1

she is to old to be losing your job over. there is plenty of young girls that want to play. why was he dealing with this old girl?

August 10 2010 at 11:45 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
letmay8

So Hurd needed someone to patronize his little head, Old hag bimbo comes in to do the massage. Sleaze, big time. Hurd and the bimbo will make more money reenacting the scene in Playboy or doing a porno movie. The shoe fits.

August 09 2010 at 11:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
adofilli

lt's no one busniss who Hard sleeps with and how much money
he get in severance pay--This is still a republic not a social democratc
state Come Nov.2 there will be proof as the votes get counted---

August 09 2010 at 10:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
scootatl

Jodie Fisher is a golddigging tramp and Mark Hurd is a complete idiot!

She knew exactly what she was doing and she has spent her life sliming around seedy avenues and people.

He is a brilliant man who had everything going in his favor but he chose to do something totally stupid with the wrong head.

What do these people think? No one will find out? Tiger, A-Rod, Mark Hurd, Jesse James...You have too many sets of eyes on you. Get a clue!

Sad people will throw away a great life for a stupid fling with a lowlife tramp. Mark Hurd should have been kicked to the curb with nothing! He is a deadbeat!

August 09 2010 at 9:10 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
wongtpa

All my kingdom for a hooka!

August 09 2010 at 6:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Drew

Now that it is out that she took money from the company for work never performed, I hope they go after her for repayment. Both parties should have to repay in these cases and perhaps they will not be so prevalent in the future. If the bank, IRS or your employer overpays you and you don't repay, you go to jail. No reason she should get a free pass. She committed fraud when she signed for the payments and cashed the checks knowing she did not do the work stated.

August 09 2010 at 6:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lawrence

With 10's of Millions of dollars in his kick it's a little hard to work up much sympathy for a guy padding his company expence tab to accomadate this ageing pop tart ..Real Smart Guy...from the waist up...

August 09 2010 at 6:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mobeck

I worked for a big communications outfit. One of the biggest. We had a woman in the office whose only duties as far as I could tell was making coffee and setting up a conference room and ordering doughnuts for the meeting of men bosses. Once in awhile she'd walk out to us working men and tell us "don't idle your trucks" or "watch for other vehicles" or other such useful tidbits. We called her the 'party bitch'.

August 09 2010 at 5:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
abcborderline1

It is good to see a Company that seems to require CHARACTER. Hiring someone for a job that sounds like "Hooker" as a job title, seems questionable. Most sadly, MEN are so stupid and act and think with the 'little head". But, the biggest problem is these WOMEN who go after fame and fortune with their looks. And then hire "scum" like Allred to pad their pockets.

August 09 2010 at 5:46 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to abcborderline1's comment
LaharlD2

Well I can see how one can defend porn by saying women can make a lot of money, which is true. But porn on the other hand can feel dirty and degrading and not so rewarding for straight men except with the sex. I think most women do it for the money. Some women in porn do want the money to live a normal life going to college, but some guys still end up just seeing them as a sexual fling. But a lot these women don't care that 1 of these guys just came out jail. They don't care about their past.

August 09 2010 at 9:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply