6. Goals, Strategies, and Tactics: Preparing and Planning

On August 6, 2010, late on a Friday afternoon, investors in HP (formerly known as Hewlett-Packard) got a surprise. The company announced that Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd, who was widely credited with turning around the troubled company, was resigning.1

That was surprising enough. But the reasons given were both murky and baffling. And it began a year of communication, strategy, and execution missteps that caused confidence and trust in the leadership of the company and its board to plummet.

In its announcement the company said that the general counsel, overseen by the board, had conducted an investigation of an allegation of sexual harassment against Mr. Hurd. Readers of the announcement ...

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