Feeds

Get Walter! Hewlett Jr. smeared to save Compaq merger

Class War

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

If ever there was a moment when Silicon Valley's new money sought to bury the old, it came yesterday, with a classic assassination piece about Walter Hewlett, HP board member and the son of co-founder.

Both the Hewlett and the Packard families last week came out in opposition to the proposed merger with Compaq.

David Packard Jr found himself on the end of villification after his decision last week, with a Compaq member suggesting he was unfit to do his duty, and at the weekend HP has been working hard to discredit Hewlett Jr.

Citing a "source familiar with the board's actions", Hewlett Jr. is portrayed as a rich dilettante who'd rather attend the annual Bohemian Grove plutocrats gathering than attend a crucial HP board meeting.

"A lot of the board members felt he should have been at the meeting the day before and was wasting their time," cites the board-level source.

CNET also ran another piece - a sprawling affair bylined by no fewer than five writers - also citing an HP board-level "source" who bemoans Packard's opposition, and who suggests that all the current board members would depart if the merger with Compaq failed.

Whether the Get-Walter campaign is blessed by HP's official corporate PR operation or simply a private foray by a pro-Carly faction on the HP board we don't know. Perhaps Cupertino would like to tell us. The Bohemian Grove article features on the record no comments from HP flaks.

Dog eat Dog

But the use of class rhetoric is fascinating, particular for a company which not so long ago, would sooner asphyxiate than deploy bodyline bowling tactics against a competitor.

The WASP-ish, all-male Bohemian Grove Club to which Packard is said to be so devoted has been described as a frat boy network for middle-aged millionaires.

Speakers at the annual gathering have included Nixon, Kissinger and Nixon's former fixer and now Defense Secretary Rumsfield, leaders of the oil and defence industries, and a cast of free-market proselytisers. Paranoid conspiracy theorists have fingered it as one of the meeting places of the New World Order, but it's ludicrous enough as it is, cheers; you don't need a conspiracy to see that successful capitalists like to meet now and again to reassure each other how successful and clever they all are.

It's a social landmark, of a kind. That HP's current owners should turn on the old paternalism of the "HP Way" with such poison makes for ugly viewing. ®

Related Links

Bohemian Grove Action Network
The Bohemian Grove Club, by Alexander Cockburn

Related Stories

Packard family naysays Compaq merger
SirCam merger gets personal: Valley aristos send Compaq paq-ing

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.