October 12, 2006 4:13 PM PDT

Hewlett-Packard hires new ethics officer

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With the company's former ethics officer facing criminal charges, Hewlett-Packard on Thursday hired a replacement to help put an end to spying scandals.

Jon Hoak was named HP's new vice president and chief ethics and compliance officer, the company said in a press release.

Hoak replaces Kevin Hunsaker, a central figure in a probe by the company to find the source of news leaks earlier this year. Last week, Hunsaker and former HP chairman Patricia Dunn were charged with four felonies, including identity theft, after HP acknowledged that some of the company's investigators obtained private phone records.

Hunsaker and Dunn resigned last month, as did two other HP executives. Besides being the subject of a criminal investigation, former HP officials have had to appear before a congressional subcommittee on the leak probe matter and the company faces related scrutiny by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"HP has traditionally led the industry in adherence to standards of ethics, privacy and corporate responsibility," HP CEO Mark Hurd said in a statement. "With Jon's guidance, we will lead again."

One of Hoak's first duties will be to assist attorneys hired by HP to assess the company's investigative practices.

During its probe, HP investigators tricked phone company employees into turning over private phone records belonging to journalists, employees and HP board directors, the company has acknowledged.

Hoak is the former general counsel for NCR and a former attorney at AT&T.

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Ethics officer? What a joke. Is that like "equal" opportunity or "Affirmative" action? Sounds like PC BS to me.....
Posted by NRecob (78 comments )
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How does this reach you?

A business,... not a terrorist, not a criminal (oh yeah, well, forget that), not another competing nation, not a rival faction, but a business operating in the good old, God fearing, holier than thou, U.S. of A., needs a special oerational componment within it, to try, I said try and prevent the organization from committing some crimes! ! ! Well what do we need to implement to control the so called 'ethics' 'officer'.

hp has shown such remarkably clearsighted leadership throughout this, mere 'slip-up', what a grand and novel idea. Our last ehtis ofcier is under indictment so we will fix the problem by hiring another one,.. LOL!!!!

To imagine this is the fault of ust one person is ludicracy. To even start to suggest that hp is not completely overtaken by a vapid lack of ethics is clueless.

I am more interested in the 'investigative officers', 'enforcement officers', the 'law and policy making officers' that will be deployed through out hp offices to endure the product mugging the public and businesses suffer does not erupt into full blown, out on the street muggings and hiests.

I can not believe that the paragon of virtue, hurd, slipped out, that 'hp has been such a leader in the field of ethics' in the past. OK this boy is really not only lost total touch with reality but spitting out such malarky it completely insulting.

When will the united snakes of america start strapping on a pair and start protecting the public!!!! Why doesn't the administration appoint 'ethics officers' since it is so obvious businesses can't be trusted to control themselves.

hp's service policies and practices will enforce the lies of telling their customers that their server hard drives are faulty and insist on keeping them, so that they gather intelligences from what is written on it at their labs, there is no failure analysis that they can perform on other oem's h/w.

hp intentionally archictures propritary obsolescenes in thei hardware preventing standard components from being used in their consumerware, computers, etc. This makes it the most extremely expensive proposition to get a standard fix for a computer at any level for the public.

hp has designed their own level of malware for public and corporate 'intelligence' gathering at the 'transport level' of computer communications, (lower level protocols that computers use to perfrom functions).

I heartily recommend a full blown investigation into hp!!

Dont say I didn't go out of my way to warn you.
Posted by Dragon Forge (96 comments )
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lofl, you must be a large stakeholder in dell or...
donning a tin foil hat.

you act as if hp employees are roaming the streets killing small children with lethal jabs from refurbed ipaq's...

then again, you might just be one of this sites loyal (rabid) apple supporters.

who knows!

/and in case you didnt know, all multibillion publically traded enterprises are required to have an ethics policy.

the person heading that is typically called the 'ethics officer'.

thank you...
Posted by Yukimi Konomi (48 comments )
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What's that old saw?
An ethical person knows that a specific action is bad but a moral person simply won't do it, I believe?

The fact of the matter is the officers of most major corporations are amoral, at best.

After all, throwing 10,000 families at a time to the financial wolves in the banking and credit industries by laying them off and still sleeping soundly to the tune of "its just business" can certainly be "ethically" justified, but morally?

Likewise, business "ethics" justifies canceling pension plans "in response to currently accepted business practices among our competitors"...but is that moral?

I sort of hope some large corporation somewhere decides it is "ethical" to assassinate their competition's top R&D personnel.

I'd hazard a guess that assassination would be "an accepted business practice" across all of America's corporate boardrooms within one fiscal quarter - and stamped with the seal of approval of all of those corporations' "ethics officer", to boot.
Posted by missingamerica (6147 comments )
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Dunn made it clear before she realized she was in trouble when she said that they were in the confines of the law. So, it was ok. Companies are often less about what is right and more about what they are legally liable for. Why do you think recalls occur? They occur because companies calculate that financial risk outweighs litigation exposure. Such was the case with the Ford Explorer and its Firestone tires. Exploders have been known for flipping over very easily and killing the occupants, but that didn't come out because the litigation exposure would never outweigh a design flaw like this that would require replacing the whole vehicle for every customer after they completely redesigned the model from the chassis up.
Posted by matt_parker (52 comments )
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