back to article HP VP charged for trying to pass on IBM trade secrets

A former Hewlett-Packard vice president has been charged by US federal prosecutors for allegedly attempting to pass trade secrets from his previous employer, IBM Corp, to senior HP execs. According to a US District Court indictment filed last Friday in San Jose, California, Atul Malhotra obtained “confidential” pricing details …


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  1. Walter Brown

    Very Interesting choice by HP

    I'm actually surprised by HP on this one, maybe even a little impressed, given HP's actions in other recent moralliy and ethically questionable situations, maybe the PR machine warned them that another internal fiasco like the one Carly Fiorina engineered would sink them, HP would go down faster than the Itanic!

    mines the one with built in life vest...

  2. John Saunders

    Two sets of rules

    Of course the doofus was shown and signed to abide by the HP code of conduct as a condition of employment, so it's hard to imagine this was the first time he'd engaged in such shenanigans during his illustrious career.

    IBM was lucky to be rid of him, and now HP too. But how was he allowed to develop this pernicious habit at IBM? Hmm ... .

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Happens all of the time

    I worked for a multinational company where, die to the ineptness of the IT folks, an marketing executive who left for a competitor, set up email forwarding for him directly to his new job. (IT: Would you like us to set up email forwarding when you leave? Just email us your new address.)

    For about a year he got cc’d on all of the marketing, planning, engineering & customer service chatter.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    A lesson for all traitors

    The grass may be greener on the other side but don't pee on the lawn where you came from.

    L.A. Woman

  5. Anonymous Coward

    A bit dim

    This guy is living proof of the Dilbert Principle - that only idiots get promoted to senior management. I mean really - an email marked as "For Your Eyes Only". That's a bit like having a private conversation in a crowded lift. The first thing you should assume about email is that someone other than the intended recipient is going to read it at some point. How IBM and HP managed to hire this guy in the first place is the real mystery.

    Incidentally, John, IBM makes its serfs sign a set of guidelines every year, basically saying that they won't do this sort of thing. A bit like the "are you a terrorist?" question - if you do something like that, they don't have to prove what you did was illegal, just that it was against the guidelines, which you agreed to abide by. So if it had been the other way round, IBM would have done exactly the same thing as HP.

    AC because, well...

  6. Vendicar Decarian

    AmeriKKKa fast becoming a prison state

    This is another fine example of Freedom. AmeriKKKan style.

  7. Solomon Grundy

    Standard Operating Procedures

    That's how it works you know. There are no rules, unless you get caught breaking one. A sale absolves all sins.

    On a side note, in response to a previous post: I force myself to restrain from commenting about the "management" posts on this site basically because I don't want to disillusion the peons - but at the end of the day people who don't like the management decisions are the very people who don't qualify to be management. They have little or no idea of what it takes to make a business work, that's why they're peons...

  8. Quantum


    His action was normal operating procedure. Part of an exec hire's appeal is the portfolio of information and contacts he brings.

    This happened as a direct result of HP's paranoia after the board bugging fiasco. They probably feared it was a setup.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not surprised he was ex-IBM

    A company I used to work for had a bunch of ex-IBMers in one of its facilities. The ordinary folks were OK but the VPs were lying back-stabbing two-faced scumbags. Fortunately they eventually got fired also. Does IBM have some management culture "issues"?

  10. John Saunders

    Doofus redux

    All too familiar with the 'SOP' arguments concerning violations of trust. The pervasiveness of this sort of behavior leading to a grudging acceptance of it or even suggestion for its necessity for good business is a topic too broad for this forum.

    The doofus label goes more to the exec's sending of the material to other execs using email, for which sort of actor I have been at a loss to find any other suitable descriptive term.

    Unaware of the incriminating trail he was leaving? - doofus

    or indifferent to the same? - two sets of rules, leading perhaps to

    Expecting the other execs to accept incrimination also by receiving the material? - doofus

    The last being the the IBM culture question.

    Finally, for the business-world weary, there's nothing in this story (yet) to say that HP doesn't still have the 'trade secrets', the show of purging the VP notwithstanding.

  11. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    So unfair!

    An IBM Printer bizz memo? He was obviously sending it round as a joke!! "hey, you guys, have you seen what those guys at Armonk think the printer bizz is about?"

    I'll have the "Multi Function by Nature" jacket, please!

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