Dead, Patricia “Pat” Dunn on December 4, 2011, she was the non-executive chairman of the board of Hewlett-Packard (HP) from February 2005 until September 22, 2006, when she resigned her position.
On September 12, 2006, HP announced that Mark Hurd, a former CEO, would replace her as Chairman after the HP board meeting on January 18, 2007, but that Dunn would continue as an HP board member after January 18, 2007, a position she had held since 1998.
Even so, on September 22, 2006, in a press conference, Dunn resigned, effective immediately, from both her position as chairman and from the board of directors of HP.
In an official statement, Dunn noted “I accepted the responsibility to identify the sources of those leaks, but I did not propose the specific methods of the investigation.
Unfortunately, the people HP relied upon to conduct this type of investigation let him and the company down. I continue to have the best interests of HP at heart and thus I have accepted the board’s request to resign.”
On March 14, 2007, the judge in the case dropped all criminal charges against her in the “interests of justice”.
The dropping of the criminal charges by Judge Cunningham came after Dunn refused to take a plea of one misdemeanor in exchange for four felonies before the preliminary hearing.
Bill Lockyer, the man who had been criticised for bringing the case against Dunn in the first place, defended his bringing of the case in a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal.
After college, Dunn worked as a secretary at Barclays Global Investors, the asset management arm of the England-based financial firm, where she rose through the ranks to serve as CEO from 1995 to 2002.
She became a director at computing giant Hewlett-Packard in 1998, and succeeded Carly Fiorina as non-executive chairman of the company in 2005.
A year later, Dunn resigned from her position after receiving a criminal indictment stemming from controversy regarding her effort to investigate board-level leaks to reporters.
According to the indictment, HP hired third-party investigators to obtain the personal phone records of HP board members and several reporters.
Under California law, it is illegal to use deceit to obtain private records of individuals.
Dunn played a central role in events leading to the 2005 ouster of Fiorina, writing a four-page report outlining the board’s concerns with her, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.
The company named Dunn chairman on Feb. 9, 2005.