Patricia Dunn, the former HP chairman who played a key role in HP's 2006 spying https://www.fundera.com/ scandal has died from ovarian cancer, All Things Digital confirmed.
Dunn joined HP's board in 1998 and became chairman in 2005 after the board ousted then-CEO Carly Fiorina. She wassucceeded by HP's next CEO Mark Hurd.
Like the plot of a bad Hollywood movie, details of HP's strategy known only to HP board members kept showing up in news stories, indicating that someone on the board was talking to the press.
In September 2006, Dunn was discovered to have hired a team of security experts to figure out who had leaked a story about an HP strategy meeting to CNET. Those experts in turn employed private investigators who allegedly spied on board members and journalists. They posed as HP board members and journalists in order to get the phone company to release phone records. This type of spying is known as "pretexting," and it happens to be illegal.
The scandal lead to felony charges in California. Dunn was one of four charged. She refused to take a plea bargain, even though she was about to undergo chemotherapy for cancer. In 2007, a judge dismissed the case.
The debacle is part of HP's decade-long history of dysfunctional leadership, which many would argue still characterizes HP's board today.