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Drip, Drip, Drip

5:55 PM -- The most interesting thing about HP's news conference Friday to talk about its leak investigation is the timing. (See Hurd to Speak on Leak Probe.) When a company calls a news conference at the market's close on a Friday, it is not looking to deliver happy news. It's looking to bury something.

Until now, HP executives outside of the directors have been in denial. The strategy has been to ignore it until it goes away. Now that they're addressing it means they're convinced it isn't going away any time soon. Not with law enforcement and Congress knocking on HP's door.

Still, don't expect the news Friday to be too dour. According to the statement released today, the conference is to "discuss the actions HP is taking to address issues regarding the investigation of leaks from its boardroom."

Sounds like a new law-abiding investigation into the last investigation, which was likely criminal. CEO Mark Hurd will probably promise that heads will roll once it's determined who's to blame. Then HP will do its best to find a scapegoat. Whether or not that ends up being Hurd, the reputation he built over the last 18 months at HP has been tarnished.

This should be a lesson to all you corporations out there: Leave the act of fixing leaks to plumbers. Hurd and HP's directors would happily trade the stories that came from the leaks in the first place for the stories they're getting now.

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