"Certainly we have very good relations with the Packards and the Packard Foundation,'' HP chief executive Carly Fiorina told a Silicon Valley audience on Monday.
For how long, following a jibe in a CNET interview published the same day, we can only guess. In the interview Fiorina recalled that Dave Packard, co-founder of HP, was "The Mean One."
The description, which went unchallanged in the interview, has offended some HP veterans and puzzled many more.
"I never heard that one from 1984 to 2003. But, it was certainly tasteless of her to mention it," wrote one former HP staffer.
Another, whose parents worked for HP, said the nickname had never come up in 60 years.
"If someone had ever used that nickname at work, it would not have been met with a very warm reception. I'm surprised Carly would mention this, since if it ever existed, was certainly not widespread."
Perhaps Register readers with long memories can shed some light on what appears to be a piece of revisionism. With Fiorina having pared many of HP's assets to the bone, she's going after one thing the accountants can't touch: the reputation of the company's co-founders.
With her historical training, shouldn't Carly know better? Enlighten us here.®