A recent survey by Market Influence firm Techtel (full disclosure: I am Techtel's CEO) asked IT buyers:
Have you heard of recent possible practices by HP regarding questionable techniques for investigating information leaks from its board of directors?
87% said they had.
Then we asked:
Do you think this issue indicates a specific ethics problem at HP?
An astounding 60% said either Definitely or Probably so.
[35% said 'Definitely', 25% said 'Probably', 28% 'Maybe', 16% probably not, 2% 'Definitely Not']
[See details on the tabs which also show how different groups answered.]
This surprised me. HP has for years been a company with high opinion in the market. As such, this reputation should provide quite a buffer from a reputation hit such as this. Like when someone was killed on a ride at a Disney park some years ago: there was little harm to its reputation since people had a very high prior opinion of the park and were more likely to attribute the problem to dangerous behavior by the rider.
But at HP, this is apparently not so. My guess: a bad reputation can arise from poor performance (meaning well, but not delivering as promised) or bad character (lies to cover up, e.g.). The market is likely seeing this story as indicative of a character problem, and if so, HP has to identify the characters and cut 'em out. This is not a matter of promising to 'do better.'
We (Techtel) track opinion by the IT market of HP and many other companies, and have done so for a decade or two so we can tell when trouble is brewing. I'll update this post with the latest findings soon. Check back to see the impact on company opinion. It may differ from the specific reaction to the ethics question. Or it may not. This is critical to HP.
Name three companies in Tech whose Opinion has risen appreciably in the past year. Big names.
I'll post the answers soon from our quarterly IT market buyers study.