Former HP Chairman Patricia Dunn dies, WSJ reports

In 2006, Dunn approved a plan to spy on Hewlett-Packard board members, employees, and journalists including three from CNET. Five years after the scandal, Dunn dies of ovarian cancer at age 58.

A screenshot of Patricia Dunn from her 2006 interview with '60 Minutes' about the HP spying scandal. Click on photo to watch the interview. CBS/60 Minutes

Patricia Dunn, the former chairman of Hewlett-Packard who resigned five years ago after acknowledging she approved a plan to spy on board members and journalists, has died, according to a published report.

William Jahnke, Dunn's husband, confirmed her death in an interview with The Wall Street Journal today and later said that Dunn died Sunday of ovarian cancer. She was 58.

HP provided a statement: "Pattie Dunn worked tirelessly for the good of HP. We are saddened by the news of her passing, and our thoughts go out to her family on their loss."

Dunn is likely best known for approving a plan in 2006 to locate the source of a news leak that she believed was coming from HP's board.

She denied knowing which tactics were used to obtain information. The company hired private investigators who later acknowledged lying to phone company employees to obtain phone records belonging to board members, HP employees, and journalists, including three from CNET.

"Pattie Dunn worked tirelessly for the good of HP. We are saddened by the news of her passing, and our thoughts go out to her family on their loss."
--statement from HP

The practice of acquiring information by duping phone company employees, known as pretexting, is now against the law. For her role in the spying scandal, Dunn resigned her position as HP's chairman and was later charged with conspiracy and identity theft. She always denied any wrongdoing. The charges against her were eventually dropped .

Dunn was the former CEO at Barclays Global Investors and named by Forbes magazine as one of the top 100 most powerful women in 2005. She was voted the "Financial Woman of the Year" in 2001 by the Financial Women's Association of San Francisco.

Updated at 3:08 p.m. PT: To include the cause of death.

 

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