HP CEO Mark Hurd fired, HP brand in the bullseye

On Friday August , HP CEO Mark Hurd was ousted from the top of the monolithic electronics giant. While Wall Street may be treating HP with an optimistic outlook – the small shift is only a sign that HP has released a critical brand target that resonates through-out the corporate ecosystem.

“Investors are clearly nervous. Shares of HP plunged 7% on Monday despite the fact that the company also issued bullish guidance Friday after the bell. Of course, nobody cared because that’s when HP also announced the Hurd mess.”
~ Paul R. La Monica (CNN MONEY)

Mark Hurd has been upheld as a thought-leader and effective business man, but his reason for leaving the throne of HP revolves around indiscretion with a female HP contractor. While we won’t go into the details of that story: we can quickly see that as HP CEO, Mark Hurd has become the overnight talking point for many journalists.

Weekend News Coverage Included:

Wall Street Journal
Mark Hurd Proves Every CEO Is Replaceable

The Hurd Mentality: HP’s Mark Hurd and the Big Traps in Small Lapses

CNN Money
Hurd Mentality: Is HP no longer a buy?

Washington Post
HP CEO Mark Hurd allowed to resign: No Severance?

Network World
What do Mark Hurd and Tiger Woods have in common?

Mark Hurd, HP CEOWhile chief executive officers like Mark Hurd are in all industries, the details of his leaving with a $ 28 million cash and stock severance highlights that people can (and will) get rewarded for improper conduct within the executive suite. This is most easily seen by looking at his separation package:

“The board may claim that they were obligated to pay Hurd due to his employment contract, and could not fire him for cause because it was written so narrowly. But employees burned by years of cost-cutting are unlikely to care. HP workers have faced multiple rounds of layoffs in recent years. Their 401(k) contributions have been capped and made discretionary. On top of all that, Hurd exacted 2.5% to 15% salary cuts from all of HP’s employees during the recession, a bold and controversial move in management circles that a few companies have only recently dared to do.” ~ Jena McGregor (The Washington Post)

As the HP CEO, Mark Hurd was a core element that details how executives at large companies are highlighted with unusual rules. One of the most identifying aspects in the digital space is that “Mark Hurd” was a frequent search on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

In the month of July, the Wikipedia entry for Mark Hurd was viewed 2695 times. That same Wikipedia article generated roughly 50k readers in 2009.

For purposes of rationalizing the ROI of executive reputation and knowing how a CEO name is driving tremendous exposure at the individual level: think about the extremely high percentage of investors, employees, business partners, vendors, and industry journalists who took SEARCH RESULTS about Mark Hurd and made critical business decisions.

Mark Hurd will be an interesting person to watch in the CEO reputation space, as he fumbled the ball and HP and its stockholders are left holding the bill.

Social Media Reputation

Reputation Management and Internet Privacy articles

This is part of our regular reputation management and internet privacy series recapping recent events and changes affecting how personal information is being used online.

In recent reputation management and internet privacy conversations, we are seeing an increased trend in users and corporations going head to head. These recent articles give a good perspective on some recent debate points that CEOs and executives should be reviewing:

Facebook to Simplify Privacy Controls : Facebook is simplifying its privacy controls amid growing unrest from many of its users. Protesters have been organizing campaigns to quit Facebook and privacy groups have complained to regulators after Facebook announced new features last month, including “instant personalization” that tailors other websites to users’ Facebook profiles.

Senate Preps Online Policy for Candidates: Lawmakers voted Tuesday to establish rules for candidates using Facebook, Twitter and other social networking websites, making Maryland one of the first states in the nation to regulate the increasingly popular means of campaigning. Starting two weeks from now, candidates must begin including an authority line — a declaration of approval that lists their campaign treasurer — on the social networking sites run by their campaigns.

Senate Preps Regulation for Online Privacy:  A Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on online privacy Tuesday will focus on technologies used to collect and use consumer information and could help lay the groundwork for legislation governing those practices.

Facebook Launches User Safety Page: Facebook doesn’t aspire to the status of a nation state. All its users are citizens of other countries with their own governments, police forces and armies. Yet given Facebook’s immense scale, it’s not surprising the social networking site feels it shares responsibility for the safety of its users.

Social Media Reputation

Online Reputation, articles from our founder

In addition to some of the exclusive content here @ Social Media Reputation, our founder’s blog has a variety of informational articles covering the crossroads of online privacy, reputation management, and corporate risk. He deals with a variety of elements that touch within these three spheres, while also looking at the benefit points within each.

If you would like us to review a specific reputation management item or dive deeper into one of these issues, simply contact us and we’ll take a look at it! You can also follow our tweets @ceoreputation

  • Online Privacy and our Digital Crisis – there is so much data created, shared, collected, and sold about us as individuals that we all need to take more responsibility for.
  • Corporate Reputation on Complaint Sites – businesses spend a huge amount of effort creating on-going reputations, but new ‘net savvy’ businesses are using complaint sites to steal brand traffic and cause significant damages.
  • Reputation Management and Work Life Balance – tired of having a split personality online? this article talks about the details and reasoning behind a personal and professional online presence.
  • Avvo Ratings, why lawyers and doctors should be scared – attorneys and doctors are low-hanging “SEO Fruit” to own online. Find out how different professional niches are being targeted by new online business models to steal online brand traffic that includes prospects, clients, employees, and more.

If you have any questions about digital brand or reputation management, please feel free to use the comments below or share some questions via e-mail.

Social Media Reputation

Hotel Reputation, TripAdvisor being targeted to comply

Destination owners who are suffering from hotel reputation problems caused by TripAdvisor and similar review sites may have a light showing up at the end of the tunnel.

KwikChex (a  U.K. based online monitoring service) released a press release targeting negative reviewers, saying that it plans to publish a list of suspects that are fraudulent and defamatory.

While this sounds like a good step forward against complaint sites that affect business, we are just beginning to see a round of industry centric lawsuits regarding online reputation. In August Google was ordered to name anonymous online bullies. This further defined precedent cases for online slander and libel in the U.S., while opening up other international conversations like those involving TripAdvisor.

Chris Emmins, Co-founder of KwixChex – is leading a legal challenge in the U.K. that has amassed 800+ properties and how TripAdvisor affects hotel reputation.

The reality is that this ‘trend’ is costing the hotel industry millions of dollars.
(as we previous covered in Hotel Reputations, search brand value under attack )

According to Tnooz Travel Tech Talk, Chris had confirmed several aspects of the case being brought fourth:

  1. Cases based on TripAdvisor allegedly being responsible for misrepresenting standards/quality of businesses that its systems have singled out.
  2. Cases where serious allegations have been made that have been supposedly supported by TripAdvisor by means of a pop-up stating: “This review was written by a trusted member of the TripAdvisor community”. Kwikchex claims this is an endorsement.
  3. Court action to disclose information on identities of posters making defamatory comments.

TripAdvisor is fighting back on hotel reputation, issuing “red boxes” against hotels that attempt to manipulate review results –

“TripAdvisor has reasonable cause to believe that individuals or entities associated with or having an interest in this property may have interfered with traveller reviews and/or the popularity index for this property. We make our best efforts to identify suspicious content and are always working to improve the processes we use to assess traveller reviews.”

This is just the beginning, not the end

While companies like KwikChex are moving forward to target negative hotel reputation and review sites, such properties have a list of rights and protections regarding free speech. Outside of hotel reputation issues, complaint sites such as RipoffReport and Complaints.com have both managed to win court cases defending negative commentary.

Businesses dealing with hotel reputation or online reputation management issues need to be aware that legal systems are decades behind our web usage trends.
There are few (if any) up-to-date laws regarding the specifics of how internet conversation is monitored, managed and regulated.

As new laws are written, it is fairly common to see ‘web enabled’ companies like TripAdvisor have pre-existing migration paths to newer methodologies that are NOT covered by current legal decisions.

This effectively places web content companies in a continual 18 to 60 month process gap that regulating and legal groups cannot catch up with. (it is the very nature of many web content business models to target business models that have undefined business opportunities and little existing precedent.)

If you know of any hotel reputation problems worth checking out, leave a comment below or tweet us @ceoreputation

Social Media Reputation

Using your reputation.com, .info, .net to work for you

There are many different ways to enhance the way you are perceived online, whether your have great commentary floating around or negative critics trying to attack you.

The first step in creating your digital identity is to HAVE an identity, a brand, a mission, a public face.

Your online reputation revolves around your decision to have a specific digital identity.

Think of it like this: if you are sitting on the beach with a truck load of sand, imagine that every grain says something different about you.

No one has a reasonable chance of understand how each grain really represents you, but you can make it easier by forming the grains of sand into a sand castle, sculpture, or statement about you.

If you can manage to pull yourself together and create something that identifies who you are, great!

But if one sand castle makes a good impression…
how about two, three, four, five?

This is where your online reputation.com, .info, .net to work for you.

The easiest way for people to find your presence is to make it as easy as possible for them to find information about you.

When people are trying to find you, they typically use a search engine and use one of these variations of search keyword:

  • First name, Last name
  • First name, Last name, company
  • First name, Last name, title
  • First name, Last name, city

Being in More than One Place

In most cases would create a site that was yoursite.com, using it as a blog / resume site that maintained up-to-date information about you.

With a slight tactical variation, you could expand from having a singular site and extend your digital identity into a reputation.com, .info, .net trio.

Example Breakdown

  • Reputation.com – your standard web bio
  • Reputation.info – resume, digital hobbies, social links
  • Reputation.net – articles and resources you like

By establishing slight variations of your information on different domains you gain several distinct benefits

  • you can tactically segment information about you, providing a logical break to personal or professional niche topics.
  • you gain the ability to “SEO” different domains and earn more top-ranking results on the 1st page of search.
  • you gain relevant link potential: the ability to use specific keywords to identify terms you want to show up for in search.

A mixture of basic and advanced

While the above information can help you out, there are a lot of crossovers between simple and complex implementations.

In some cases, using different variations of your name or brand may be required to address a specific type of online reputation issue, while other cases may require you to spread your digital identity to hundreds of web sites.


Social Media Reputation