HP plummets to foot of table as CEO bails out

Computer firm Hewlett-Packard (HP) has crashed to the bottom of this week's Reputation Monitor after the resignation last week of CEO Carly Fiorina.

Commentators said HP, which retains Hill & Knowlton for corporate PR in Europe, had not delivered on the promise of its 2002 merger with Compaq, making Fiorina's departure inevitable.

Anglo-Dutch company Unilever took the second worst position after revealing a 36 per cent fall in pre-tax profits. The firm said it would end its much-criticised dual-management structure, but had to dismiss media speculation that the company would be demerged.

Mobile phone operator T-Mobile also fared badly, taking the table's third worst position when it emerged that parent group Deutsche Telekom plans to cut 800 jobs at sites across the UK.

But at the top of the table Tesco held on to its first place position for a second week, while rival Asda moved back up to second position.

Tesco benefited from widespread coverage of its plans to hire 140 truck drivers in Poland for its expanding European distribution network, while news that Asda was in talks to buy 13 Safeway stores in Northern Ireland, raised the prospect of the chain moving into the Republic of Ireland.

Barclays took third position when the firm reported a 20 per cent rise in profits in the last year. This quashed concerns of rising costs and fuelled rumours that a big US firm might bid for the bank.

Reputation Monitor is compiled from Thomson Intermedia's National News Index, a measure of media sentiment that excludes stock market reports and passing mentions.

REPUTATION MONITOR - 8-14 FEBRUARY 2005

Ranking Rank last week Organisation NNI

Best performers

1 1 Tesco 158

2 3 Asda 145.7

3 7 Barclays 138.6

4 211 Baugur 133.4

5 5 BT Group 87.3

Worst performers*

1 1309 Hewlett-Packard -62.5

2 1462 Unilever -28.9

3 1447 T-Mobile -21.2

4 28 NHS -16.7

5 1544 Financial

Services Authority -16.2

Source: www.newsmetrics.co.uk/Thomson Intermedia plc *Rank last week is

position from bottom of table

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