For anyone with connections to Hewlett-Packard, past or present, one of the saddest aspects of recent events involving HP was the resignation of the company's senior vice president and general counsel, Ann Baskins.
Anyone who has worked closely with Ann is aware of her exceptional energy, skill, self-discipline, professionalism and kindness. No one who has worked with her has doubts about her integrity. Ann Baskins is the straightest of all straight arrows.
In explaining her decision to resign, Ann said she had concluded doing so was a necessary part of the company's way forward through a political and media firestorm. Her decision should be seen as an example of her strong sense of duty to HP and her willingness to put her team's interests ahead of her own.
Among people who had the privilege of working under the leadership of Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett, there can be no higher compliment than saying that someone shares the commitment to honesty, fairness and generosity that Dave and Bill personified. Everyone who knows Ann knows she is committed to those values. We respect her, we admire her and we wish her well.
[Originally published in Palo Alto Weekly 10/4/06]