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A Modest Proposal: Hurd Is Out, Here's Why I Should Be HP's Next CEO

Not since John Hinckley took a shot at President Reagan in 1981 has Jodie Foster been at the epicenter of such scandal... Wait, what? It's not Jodie Foster? It's Jodie Fisher? Oh, she's Pam from The Office, right? No, that's Jenna Fischer? Well, who on earth is this Jodie Fisher, then?

As you probably know by now, she's the woman who accused ex-HP CEO Mark Hurd of sexual harassment, even though there evidently was no sexual harassment (according to HP) --or even any sex (according to Fisher). (There was, however, a settlement between Hurd and Fisher.)

Fisher, who had roles in such classic films as Intimate Obsession and Body of Influence, was just employed by HP to meet and greet CEOs...or something like that. For some reason, though, Hurd evidently found it necessary to keep his relationship (such as it was) with Fisher a secret -- going so far as to fudge expense reports in the process. (Really, Mark? Expense reports? That is such an amateur move. It's very mailroom of you, if there are mailrooms in companies anymore. Couldn't you have come up with something more creative? Honestly...)

For her part, Fisher just feels awful about the whole thing and says that she never meant to get Hurd fired. (Draw your own conclusions as to what she wanted the result of her sexual-harassment claim to be if it didn't have anything to do with Hurd losing his job.) Hurd is, no doubt, somewhat nonplussed about the situation, and HP isn't feeling so great either -- at least in a financial sense.

So, with the scandal mostly done and dusted, and Hurd headed down to the local unemployment office, who can pick up the pieces and put HP back together again? Speculation is rampant, but RCPU has one answer: Your editor -- Me. Lee Pender.

Oh, yes. I'm the man for HP. Sure, I've never been a CEO, but I've got all the qualifications HP is looking for. For instance, I...

  • Am not Carly Fiorina, and that's still the No. 1 pre-requisite for becoming HP CEO, as far as I can tell
  • Don't watch reality TV or movies with names like Intimate Obsession and didn't know who Jodie Fisher was until this morning (hey, I took Friday off last week)
  • Don't fake expense reports (in part because I don't really travel for business anymore, but still...)
  • Have never been accused of sexual harassment (although I hope that I'm not tempting fate by typing that)
  • Am accustomed to working for organizations that mostly go by initials only (CRN, CIO, RCP, RCPU... I even went to school at TCU and married at PhD from BC)
  • Don't have a degree beyond BS (make your own joke here) but am married to a PhD, as mentioned above
  • Have owned several HP printers
  • Am willing to live in California, although I'd prefer Southern to Northern (but that's negotiable, maybe)

Hey, HP, what's the worst that could happen? Your stock price might tank? Already happening. I could be completely incompetent as CEO? Highly likely, but at least I wouldn't bring (much) scandal to the office or, as mentioned before, be Carly Fiorina. I could create brand confusion by changing the name of the company from HP to LP? Hang on, I've revealed too much...

On second thought, though, my work here at RCPU is probably too important for me to abandon. What would our readers do without this kind of hard-hitting, insightful commentary hitting their in-boxes three times per week? So, HP, I am entering, and then immediately withdrawing, my candidacy to become your next CEO. However, if you want to discuss a multi-million-dollar consulting deal with me, you can reach me, as always, at

Who do you think the next CEO of HP should be? Should it be you? Make your case at

Posted by Lee Pender on August 09, 2010 at 11:56 AM


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