HP Trial Wraps Up

 
 
By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2002-04-25 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Walter Hewlett's lawsuit trial vs. HP wraps up after testimony from HP board member Phil Condit, chairman and CEO of Boeing Co.

WILMINGTON, Del.--Walter Hewletts lawsuit trial vs. Hewlett-Packard Co. wrapped up Thursday afternoon after testimony from HP board member Phil Condit, chairman and CEO of Boeing Co. Condit testified that HPs decision-making to this point of the acquisition has been well-planned and that the board has been as well-informed as any hes been involved it. Condit was involved in the 1997 merger between Boeing and McDonnell Douglas Corp. Condit contradicted testimony from Walter Hewlett, which claimed HP was overoptimistic in its forecasts, saying that in Condits management career, individual business units in companies can be very conservative in planning, and that its managements job to rein them in.
Condit also said that he felt that the board didnt need to be informed of CEO Carly Fiorinas Value Capture Reports, saying that it was managements job to set accurate and attainable goals and it was its job to decide how those reports fit in with goals.
Hewletts lawyers have based much of their argument on the contention that HP management misled shareholders with those Value Capture Reports. "In all my experience," Condit testified, "Ive never seen a business unit come in excessively high. It has always been low." With regard to whether the board needed to see the reports, he said: "No, the management has to exercise judgment, and that has to be, Do we believe the numbers we put forward are accurate and obtainable? Then those reports are part of the process."
The two sides will file closing briefs by to Delaware Chancery Court Judge William B. Chandler III by midnight Friday. Chandler said he understands the urgency of the case and will make a decision "very quickly." Fiorina and HP CFO Bob Wayman left the courtroom soon after the close of the trial without comment. Related stories:
  • Intense Grilling Flusters Fiorina
  • Slideshow: Hewlett, Fiorina In and Out of Court
  • Special Report: HP Courts Compaq
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