Here’s an interesting concept I came across during my daily read-up on the HP tempest. Apparently it’s been around for a while, but I don’t recall seeing it before. “The company and the former directors signed mutual non-disparagement agreements.” (Source: NY Times, September 22, 2006). I don’t blame the exiting board members who signed the agreements. I’m sure that they’d like nothing better than escape from the 100-way pissing match this one is turning into. But I can’t figure out the difference between what’s “disparagement” and what’s “telling the truth” or "saying what happened from your perspective." Who decides?
And I really don’t want to think about how boring life would be if disparagement were outlawed! Who wants to live in a world where seldom is heard a disparaging word. That’s no fun.
Of course, it does strain credulity to think that the directors who left HP’s board over the spying scandal won’t be getting off a couple of one-on-one, just between us big-boys, disparaging words about goings-on at HP. I’m sure it will all come out in the book that some enterprising business journalist (or ex-HPer) is already typing up a proposal for. Should be a good one!