Patricia C. Dunn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Patricia C. Dunn
Born (1953-03-27)March 27, 1953
Burbank, California, U.S.
Died December 4, 2011(2011-12-04) (aged 58)
Orinda, California, U.S.
Cause of death Ovarian cancer
Alma mater UC Berkeley
Spouse(s) William Jahnke
Children 3

Patricia "Pat" Dunn (March 27, 1953 – December 4, 2011),[1] also known as Patricia Cecile Dunn-Jahnke, was the non-executive chairman of the board of Hewlett-Packard (HP) from February 2005 until September 22, 2006, when she resigned her position.

On October 4, 2006, Bill Lockyer, the California attorney general, charged Dunn with four felonies for her role in the HP spying scandal. Some members of the press reported that Dunn had been scapegoated.[citation needed] On March 14, 2007, California Superior Court Judge Ray Cunningham dismissed the charges against her in the "interest of justice".

Early life[edit]

Born in Burbank, California, Dunn grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, where both of her parents were involved in the casino industry. Her father was the entertainment manager for the Dunes and Tropicana hotel-casinos, and her mother was a model and entertainer. When Dunn was only eleven, her father died. Her mother subsequently moved the family to California.[2]


Dunn entered the University of Oregon in 1970, but later had to drop out to support her mother by working as a housecleaner. She resumed college and graduated from UC Berkeley, where she graduated in 1975 with a B.A. in Journalism.


After college, Dunn began working as a temporary secretary at Wells Fargo & Co.. She eventually became CEO at Barclays Global Investors, the company that acquired the asset management division of Wells Fargo. Later she joined the HP Board of Directors. In 2001, the Financial Women of San Francisco named Dunn the "Financial Woman of the Year."

She eventually succeeded Carly Fiorina as chairman of the board. Dunn was non-executive Vice Chairman of Barclays Global Investors since 2002, resigning on October 6, 2006, the day after her criminal indictment (see below). Additionally, she was Director and Executive Committee member of Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco, on the board of the Conference Board's Global Corporate Governance Research Center, and an advisory board member of UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.[3]

HP Internal Spying Scandal[edit]

Dunn was at the center of a controversy regarding her effort to investigate board-level leaks to reporters in 2005/2006.[4]

HP hired companies which, while investigating the leaks, obtained the personal telephone records of HP board members and reporters who covered HP through a practice called pretexting.[5] It is illegal under California law to use deceit and trickery to obtain private records of individuals.[citation needed]

On September 12, 2006, HP announced that Mark Hurd, a former CEO, would replace her as Chairman after the HP board meeting on January 18, 2007, but that Dunn would continue as an HP board member after January 18, 2007, a position she had held since 1998. Even so, on September 22, 2006, in a press conference, Dunn resigned, effective immediately, from both her position as chairman and from the board of directors of HP. In an official statement, Dunn noted "I accepted the responsibility to identify the sources of those leaks, but I did not propose the specific methods of the investigation ... Unfortunately, the people HP relied upon to conduct this type of investigation let me and the company down. I continue to have the best interests of HP at heart and thus I have accepted the board’s request to resign."[6] Hurd replaced her as Chairman.

On October 4, 2006, Dunn and four others were charged by California attorney general Bill Lockyer with four felony counts: fraudulent use of wire, radio or television transmissions; taking, copying, and using computer data without authorization; identity theft; and conspiracy. Lockyer had issued arrest warrants for all five of those so charged.[7] Dunn was scheduled to have been arraigned on November 17, 2006. On March 14, 2007, the judge in the case dropped all criminal charges against her in the "interests of justice". The dropping of the criminal charges by Judge Cunningham came after Dunn refused to take a plea of one misdemeanor in exchange for four felonies before the preliminary hearing. Bill Lockyer, the man who had been criticised for bringing the case against Dunn in the first place, defended his bringing of the case in a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal. HP General Counsel Ann Baskins resigned on September 28, 2006. Baskins, who advised Dunn about "tightening control over Board members", was not indicted by Lockyer.[citation needed]

Private life[edit]

Dunn had survived breast cancer and melanoma, but had been diagnosed with advanced (Stage IV) ovarian cancer in January 2004. Chemotherapy treatment led to remission until August 2006, when she underwent surgery to remove liver metastases.[citation needed]

Dunn was married to William Jahnke, a former head of Wells Fargo Investment Advisors. The couple owned a winery in Australia, a home in Hawaii and property in Orinda, California. Jahnke reported his wife had died from ovarian cancer at her home in Orinda on December 4, 2011, aged 58. She is survived by her husband, three adult children, ten grandchildren, a brother and a sister.[8] William Jahnke described his late wife as "tenacious", outliving the three-year life expectancy for her type of ovarian cancer by almost five years.[9]


  1. ^ Lublin, Joanne S. (December 5, 2011). " "Former H-P Chairman Patricia Dunn Has Died"". Wall Street Journal Online. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  2. ^ Stewart, J., "The Kona Files", New Yorker, February 19 & 26, 2007, p. 154.
  3. ^ HP Board members biographies
  4. ^ The comprehensive story of HP spying scandal along with critical discussion on involving corporate governance and ethical issues is available at Davani, Faraz (2011-08-14). "HP Pretexting Scandal by Faraz Davani". Scribd. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  5. ^ "HP engulfed in extraordinary boardroom fight", San Jose Mercury News, 2006-09-06
  6. ^ "Patricia Dunn Resigns from HP Board"
  7. ^ Ex-Hewlett-Packard Chair Dunn Charged in Leak Case
  8. ^ Robertson, Jordan (2011-12-05). "Patricia Dunn Dead: Former HP Chair Dies At 58 After Long Cancer Bout". The Huffington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved 2012-05-24. 
  9. ^ Wall Street Journal article about Dunn's death

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
Carly Fiorina
Chairman of Hewlett-Packard
Succeeded by
Mark Hurd