Summary of The Big Lie

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The Big Lie book summary


8 Overall

5 Importance

8 Innovation

9 Style


As corporate scandals go, Hewlett-Packard’s 2006 boardroom imbroglio hardly rises to the level of Enron. No one went to jail, and HP shares quickly recovered. Even so, journalist Anthony Bianco manages to spin an entertaining yarn from this tempest in a tech teapot. Bianco gained impressive access to the main players in the HP battle. He unearths a wealth of telling details, and he offers a contrarian analysis of the “Spygate” scandal, though readers might wonder why they should care about a long-forgotten blowup and whether the evidence supports Bianco’s strong criticism of then-CEO Mark Hurd (since replaced by Leo Apotheker). getAbstract recommends this book to readers seeking a cautionary tale about issues that remain relevant, from the dangers of toxic corporate climates to invasion of privacy.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Hewlett-Packard’s “Spygate” scandal unfolded,
  • How former Board of Directors head Patricia Dunn was unfairly scapegoated,
  • Why board contention is dangerous and
  • How HP violated directors’ and reporters’ privacy, and what happened next.

About the Author

Anthony Bianco wrote for BusinessWeek for 27 years, producing more than 50 cover stories. He also wrote Wal-Mart: The Bully of Bentonville among other works.



Hewlett-Packard’s “Spygate” Nabs the Wrong Culprit
In 2006 Hewlett-Packard’s boardroom bickering exploded into corporate scandal. The business press leapt on the juicy details of corporate espionage, eager to explore why HP’s brass hired private investigators to hack into the private phone...

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