Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Carly & Patty Show

136 The Carly and Patty Show

So let’s see if we can get this all straight.

The former CEO of HP (That’s the former chief executive officer of Hewlett Packard) Carly Fiorina screws up bigtime by buying Compaq and gets the axe, after a long public fight.

Now, the chairman of the company’s board, Patty Dunn is going to get the axe because there was a news leak of something she thought should be private, and she hired private eyes who stole the identities of suspects in order to get the dirt.

Reminder: When the game’s in the boardroom, you can’t win on the field.

We’ve said that before. Over and over, in fact. For proof, we site the New York Islanders of the NHL, the New York Jets of the NFL, the New York Yankees of the 1980s, the Iraq war, General Motors and Apple Computer between the Steve Jobs eras.

When Carly was busy fighting for Compaq, HP went on the first of several downspouts on her watch. She’s gone and the company has since recovered and prospered.

This latest flap – and the Attorney General of California says he has enough evidence to indict people inside and outside the company – will likely put HP back on the downside of the roller coaster until Patty leaves – which is scheduled for January.

Does this say anything about women in leadership positions. Not really, other than these two ain’t exactly Angela Merkel and Margaret Whitman.

But the Patty part of it says something about privacy: Doesn’t exist. Forget about it. Not in the constitution, no matter what the Supremes say. Doesn’t exist in reality unless you’re Theodore Kazinski before they found him.

You protecting yourself with spyware and antivirus stuff? Read your “Free Credit Report” once a year? Keep your phone unlisted?

Ah, your fortress!

Reality Check: If you haven’t had your ID stolen it’s because no one cares enough about you to steal it. Or no one’s had the time, yet.

Terrible shortage of spies and thieves out there, though. It’s a spies market. Terrible glut of data out there. Market forces will balance it all out, just as it has the price of oil and the situation in Free Iraq.

Meantime, we shouldn’t get all upset about the HP spy case, or, for that matter, the government’s famed warrantless wiretaps. If we didn’t have those, how would we have prevented the attacks on Chicago and Milwaukee. See? So effective you didn’t even know about that! And how would we have caught Osama?

You guys!

You want privacy? The Kazinsky cabin awaits.

Meantime, someone find Patty a job. She’s not getting the kind of settlement Carly did.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

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