The Entitlement Poster Child for 2010

Image: Bob RosnerHave you heard about Mark Hurd, the superstar who turned around HP? He was on track to earn $100 million payday for his efforts. Until he was shown the door last week.

Turns out that he had falsified payments to a contractor. Corporate sleuths determined that approximately $20,000 of expenses reports relating to this contractor were in question.

Okay, here is a guy earning millions of dollars in annual compensation. Millions. We’re still not exactly sure the nature of the relationship with the contractor, but I’m guessing she’s cute.

Hurd is married. Strike one.

Hurd clearly has some boundary problems between what’s work related and what isn’t. Strike two.

But the strike three is still hard to fathom. Hurd fudged and faked it so the company would pick up the expenses for wining and dining his contractor BFF.

Why does a guy earning millions of dollars fake expense reports that amount to chump change given his salary?

Entitlement.

To me this exemplifies everything that’s wrong with corporate leadership today. These are not people who are upholding a corporate trust. These are people who believe that their needs should be taken care of by their corporate benefactor.

Who have such an exalted view of their own contributions that there is nothing that they’d be too squeamish about charging to the company.

The best part of all of this? Hurd was repeatedly described by the press as being a “button downed” kind of guy. If this is the button-downed one, imagine the corporate swingers.

I don’t really care what Hurd did. But I find it interesting how many corporate executives talk about entitlement as a problem for their employees. But I think this could lead to a great new catch phrase for executive malfeasance, “Have you Hurd?”

About The Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, “The Boss’s Survival Guide.” If you have a question for Bob, contact him via bob@workplace911.com.

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Madeline Messa

Madeline Messa is a 3L at Syracuse University College of Law. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. With her legal research and writing for Workplace Fairness, she strives to equip people with the information they need to be their own best advocate.