Jack Welch Says HP Board Is Dysfunctional - InformationWeek

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10/5/2010
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Jack Welch Says HP Board Is Dysfunctional

Admitting he doesn't understand all the "back room dynamics," management guru Jack Welch says Mark Hurd's dismissal was a result of tensions between Hurd and the HP board, which Welch said "appears to be somewhat dysfunctional." Read on for the transcript from Welch's appearance on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop."

Admitting he doesn't understand all the "back room dynamics," management guru Jack Welch says Mark Hurd's dismissal was a result of tensions between Hurd and the HP board, which Welch said "appears to be somewhat dysfunctional." Read on for the transcript from Welch's appearance on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop."The investment site benzinga.com offered a transcript of Welch's comments on HP, Hurd, and Larry Ellison, and here are some zesty excerpts:

"It is impossible to understand the back room dynamics here. It certainly wasn't performance. So there was another agenda with Mark Hurd that hasn't yet come out. . . . I do not know enough of the inside baseball. But it is clear this was not a performance issue. This was a dynamic between the board, which appears to be somewhat dysfunctional, and Mark Hurd. Larry Ellison scooped him up. And I think the winner so far in this is Larry Ellison."

Asked about what he means by dysfunctional, Welch said, "I mean there are boards that do not understand their role in companies. Their role is to pick a CEO, work on the strategy with the CEO, and then get out of the way. If the CEO isn't delivering, tell him about it, give him a chance maybe and then get him out of there. But on the other hand don't get involved in all kinds of internal squabbles."

And on the HP board's decision to go outside the company for the third straight time (Carly Fiorina, Hurd, and now former SAP CEO Leo Apotheker), Welch offered this opinion:

"It tells you that they haven't done the management development job. . . . You know Todd Bradley is out there and Todd Bradley worked for us at GE and Todd Bradley is a very good guy. Somehow or other he wasn't picked. I don't know any of the dynamics. So they chose to change the game again. This is their third outside CEO in eight years or something like that. It is obviously a board that isn't thinking about management succession internally for a long time."

The full Bloomberg interview with Welch, which includes the comments noted above, can be found here.

RECOMMENDED READING:

Global CIO: Larry Ellison And HP CEO: Courtroom Showdown Looming

Global CIO: Larry Ellison's Heightened Attacks On HP Doom Alliance

Global CIO: An Open Letter To HP CEO Leo Apotheker

Global CIO: Larry Ellison Puts HP In Crosshairs Via Slap At New CEO

Global CIO: HP CEO Apotheker Has Deep Expertise But Checkered History

Global CIO: HP's $130-Billion Gamble

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