Saturday, August 7, 2010

What's the Big Deal - It's tame compared to Latvian transgressions - Hewlett-Packard boss Mark Hurd quits after sexual harassment inquiry

As a retired HP employee who in my 18+ year career had almost committed the HP Standards of Business Conduct (printable copy) to memory, I am shocked and dismayed over the recent resignation of Chairman and CEO Mr. Mark Hurd.

The funny thing is that before my relocation from the USA to my current home in Latvia (European Union) in 1999, I would not have had a second thought about the details and ethics behind Mr. Hurd's situation and resignation.

However after experiencing the more relaxed attitudes and values in Europe and especially here in Latvia, I am perplexed about the intensive reaction by the HP Board of Directors.

In discussing the matter with my Latvian wife this morning over coffee, I told her that deep inside, I was feeling somewhat guilty about several times while I was working for Hewlett-Packard Company, that I basically stole from HP by using the company copy machines to make personal copies.

My wife in her quick wit responded. ah.... "here in Latvia... when someone leaves the company they simply take the copy machine with them"

So I am left pondering why there is such a wide divide between the values in the USA vs Europe (Latvia).

... whimm... "food for lots of thought" !

Hewlett-Packard boss Mark Hurd quits after sexual harassment inquiry - Telegraph:

Mr Hurd, chairman and chief executive of the world's largest personal computer manufacturer since April 2005, agreed to step down with immediate effect after he was found to have violated the company's own business conduct standards.

The HP probe was sparked following allegations from a former contractor, with whom Mr Hurd admitted he had a 'close personal relationship'. The company also said that Mr Hurd submitted false expense reports in an effort to conceal the relationship."

Hurd said: “As the investigation progressed, I realized there were instances in which I did not live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity that I have espoused at HP and which have guided me throughout my career. After a number of discussions with members of the board, I will move aside and the board will search for new leadership. This is a painful decision for me to make after five years at HP, but I believe it would be difficult for me to continue as an effective leader at HP and I believe this is the only decision the board and I could make at this time.

Latvian Government moves to block airBaltic brand sale

RIGA - Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis has launched an investigation into the sale of the airBaltic brand (Trademarks and logos) to company CEO Bertolt Flick.

Dombrovskis has instructed the Transport Ministry, as the state's shareholder in "airBaltic", to evaluate whether it was legal for the airline's board and council members to approve the sale.

Economy Minister Artis Kampars lambasted news of the sale, saying it benefits Flick personally over the company.

“The transaction, published today, clearly shows that airBaltic CEO Bertolt Flick is working for his own interests rather than the company’s. This transaction is a blow to the airBaltic company’s value,” Kampers told business newspaper Diena Bizness.

At the end of last year Latvia’s national airline sold the branding and trademark of airBaltic and its subsidiaries -- including "airBaltic", "", "airBaltic", "airBalticHotels", "BalticMiles", and "Baltic Taxi" -- to Flick. Despite the fact that the Latvian government is the majority owner of airBaltic, transport minister Artis Kampers said the ministry only found out about the sale now after reading about it in the company’s annual shareholder’s report.

If it is established that members of the board or council have violated the Commercial Law, the transport minister Kaspars Gerhards will take appropriate legal action.

Flick's company, Baltijas Aviacijas Sistemas, already owns 47 percent of airBaltic.


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