Changes at HP Under Hurd's Hatchet Were Not All Great

The drama and mystery surrounding Mark Hurd’s abrupt departure as chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) have shined an unflattering light on the company as we learn how he really changed HP.

Wall Street loved his obsession with cutting costs, but employees did not. He brought even more major changes to the company’s once paternalistic culture, much like his predecessor Carly Fiorina, who pretty much killed the old HP Way.

With Hurd at the helm, HP became an even tougher place to work, with even less emphasis on innovating anything new.

Some former and current employees said that under Hurd, HP’s once collegial workplace has changed again for the worse.

“He was profane, a bully, autocratic, threatening, demeaning, vindictive, and rude,” wrote Chuck House, a veteran of HP, in his blog. House is now executive director of Media X, a Stanford University industry affiliate research program on media and technology, and co-author of a 2009 book, “The H-P Phenomenon.”

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