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Barbarians in the Boardroom by Owen Walker

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8

Hewlett-Packard’s beleaguered board

Drama in the boardroom

If ever a company seemed ripe for an encounter with an activist it was Hewlett-Packard. By 2011, HP had spent the best part of a decade engulfed in a series of high-profile corporate scandals. Each one had further alienated the board from its shareholders, who were also increasingly frustrated with the company’s performance. So it was no surprise when the company attracted the attention of activist Ralph Whitworth and his hedge fund, Relational Investors. What many did not expect at the time, however, was that he would be the one to bring a sense of calm to a boardroom that for many years had been the setting for so much drama.

Silicon Valley soap opera

Since its founding in 1939 in ...

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