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VC legend Perkins regrets HP debacle and taunting the poor

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Mr Big Yacht Tom Perkins had decided that um, gee, well, er, maybe he didn't handle the whole HP spy scandal thing as well as he could have.

The famed venture capitalist will apparently reveal his regret during an upcoming interview with the octogenarian-based newscast 60 Minutes. In some teaser material for the Sunday show, 60 Minutes quotes Perkins saying, "I miss being on the HP board. Maybe I made a mistake resigning as I did. I regret it."

Perkins placed himself at the center of HP's board and reporter snooping storm by leaking intimate details of the affair to reporters. The money man also abruptly left HP's board in a huff after learning that the sweeping spy probe included investigators poring over his own phone records.

Former Chairman Patricia Dunn complained about Perkins' role in the debacle, portraying him as a power-wielding figure bent on booting her off HP's board.

The bigger question posed by both Dunn and former CEO Carly Fiorina was whether Perkins and others on the board struggled to accept women in such powerful positions. Perkins, however, doesn't think he's a chick hater because he hasn't had to fire too many of them.

"I also realize I am going to be accused of 'He hates women and he fires them or he can't stand them,'" he told the old folks program. "I just don't think that's true at all…. Up until Carly, all those few that I've had to fire have been men."

Feeling ever so full of regret, Perkins declined to reveal exactly how much his 'embarrassing' super yacht the Maltese Falcon cost to build.

"I am embarrassed by [the price]," he said. "There's the homeless and charity and there are lots of things you could do with that money that would improve the world, right? So you know, 'How selfish is this guy?'...is the criticism. So the answer is pretty selfish, but I am not going to put a number on it."

But, you know, Perkins found some time to help author David Kaplan comes to terms with the boat's cost.

Speaking of outstanding books, my tome - Amazon US/Reg shop UK - hits on Perkins' competition to out marry and out boat Oracle CEO and sailor Larry Ellison. Perkins used to be married to romance novelist Danielle Steel, while Ellison is married to Melanie Craft.

And wouldn't you know it, Perkins' regret has appeared at the same time as the release of his book. Now if only I can find some regret to leverage. ®

Register hack Ashlee Vance has just pumped out a new book that's a guide to Silicon Valley. The book starts with the electronics pioneers present in the Bay Area in the early 20th century and marches up to today's heavies. Want to know where Gordon Moore eats Chinese food, how unions affected the rise of microprocessors or how Fairchild Semiconductor got its start? This is the book for you - available at Amazon US here or in the UK here.

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