HP and Hurd: crisis communications part two

It seems that a bit of sage crisis communications counsel works, even if the crisis is a very public dismissal from your job stemming from an embarrassing, but private, sexual abuse allegation.

It seems that a bit of sage crisis communications counsel works, even if the crisis is a very public dismissal from your job stemming from an embarrassing, but private, sexual abuse allegation.

Nearly a month after now former CEO Mark V. Hurd was forced out by the HP board, he's been hired to be co-president and board member of database software giant Oracle. Oracle CEO Larry Elisson had publically slammed the HP board for the corporate debacle by defending Hurd, who is widely credited for overseeing the revival of HP.

Even so, Hurd had to take steps to protect his own personal image and brand, so he hired the Los Angeles-based celebrity crisis communications firm Sitrick and Company. The strategy? I can only guess. But without this counsel, Hurd's post-HP professional life may have taken a very different path that didn't lead to a high-profile job at one of the world's biggest tech companies and HP rival.

But HP isn't cheering for its former chief. Now HP is suing Hurd to block him from the Oracle job because, they say, he possesses too many trade secrets that could be used against them.

Oops.

What started out as a public relations spectacle is turning into a potentially greater business blunder.

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