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In a nonsensical (but all too typical) boardroom compromise, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) has made a decision about chair Patricia Dunn:

* HP CEO Mark Hurd will take over as chair in January, thus eliminating HP's current separation of CEO and board chair.
* Ms. Dunn will stay on as a board member, thus keeping a person who presided over a wayward investigation that now has Federal and State officials clamoring for more information.

Welcome to splitting the baby in half, HP-boardroom style. And check the following for some over-fine distinctions that should not hold up. First Ms. Dunn:

Unfortunately, the investigation, which was conducted with third parties, included certain inappropriate techniques. These went beyond what we understood them to be, and I apologize that they were employed.

And then here is HP CEO Mark Hurd:

I am taking action to ensure that inappropriate investigative techniques will not be employed again. They have no place in HP.

So, Ms. Dunn oversaw -- she apologized after all -- investigative techniques that both she and Hurd conceded were inappropriate, and yet she is remaining on the HP board. I bet the boardroom discussions that hacked together this political decision were right out of "Yes, Prime Minister".

As an aside, l love how HP brings a bogeyman into the press release. In talking about the leaks investigation, Dunn is quoted as saying:

These leaks had the potential to affect not only the stock price of HP but also that of other publicly traded companies.

We did this for all of you, she's seemingly saying. How lovely.

HPQ 1-yr chart:

HPQ 1-yr chart

Source: H-P's New Nonsense: Dunn to Stay on as Board Member