Friday, March 18, 2005

Friday 18 March 2005

HP To Auction CEO-For-The-Day On eBay

Facing increasing pressure from the board of directors, non-executive chairman Patricia Dunn stunned the attendee's of Hewlett Packard's annual meeting Wednesday, when she announced that HP will auction CEO-For-The-Day on eBay, beginning immediately.

Dunn said they expect bids to reach "high six, maybe even, seven-figures".

Sources to The Garlic indicate that, over the weekend, Dunn, and interim CEO Bob Wayman met with eBay CEO, Meg Whitman, to gage her interest in running HP. Whitman recently was a candidate for the top post at the Walt Disney Company and rumors are circulating she's on the runway to leave eBay.

Whitman turned down the offer and suggested the auction. After some number-crunching, Dunn and Wayman signed on with the eBay auction to fill their vacant CEO chair.

"It's really a good deal for us", offered Dunn in a conference call with reporters. "Bob and I will keep our titles and we'll deal with the auction winners. Who knows, we might find someone".

Dunn stated there will be safeguards in place, so that the auction winner will be unable to do anything "crazy". Also, there will be language in the contract of the auction that specifically stipulates that the CEO-For-The-Day can not initiate any mergers whatsoever. Dunn offered the board insisted on such a clause.

The CEO-For-The-Day package is shaping up, with the winner chairing an executive staff meeting, attending and participating in marketing and R&D meetings and, at the end of the day, receives a gift basket of HP products, including the new HP iPod.

Wyman offered the HP expects to raise enough revenue for the CEO-For-The-Day auction to pay off former CEO Carli Fiorina's $21-million serverance package and actually turn a profit.

"If we spin out the printing division", offered Dunn, "we might be able to spin off the CEO office as a profit center as well".

In the first few hours after the announcement, HP has already heard from Michael Eisner, outgoing chief of Disney, Ken Lay, former Enron CEO, Martha Stewart, basketball player Reggie Miller (who is retiring from the Indiana Pacers at the end of the current season), Ted Turner and recently retired anchorman, Dan Rather. All have either inquired if they could bid, or had offers ready to place.

Dunn would not confirm or deny that HP is in talks with HBO, who is interested in launching a new series - Fat CEO - as a counterpunch to rival Showtime's Fat Actress.

NBC and Donald Trump's program, 'The Apprentice' has also contacted HP. Rumors have surfaced that HP would allow Trump to film an episode at HP, with the teams competing for the CEO post.

Scandal Hits OPEC; Pricing Tied To Racing Wagers

Para-Mutual Betting Leads to Record Barrel Prices That Continue to Rise

As consumers line up at the pump, around the country, and in many nations around the globe, paying record highs for gasoline, the recent rise in OPEC pricing is shown to be related to para-mutual betting scheme in Saudi Arabia.

Government officials and marketing experts have been exasperated in understanding the continually rising price of crude, speculated to reach $57.50 today. OPEC indicated they may raise their production ceiling by 2 per cent, an additional 500,000 barrels per day in an effort to stablize and lower prices.

Reports are coming out of Riyadh that para-mutual betting on camel races is how OPEC has been setting the daily barrel prices. The scheme involves taking the last digit of the winning bet in the first four races. OPEC has been using that as a means of establishing it's base price for its' crude barrel.

UPI, Reuters and the English Aljazeera all report sources that place OPEC delegates, Chakib Khalil of Algeria and Libya's OPEC representative and Energy Minister Fati Hamid bin Shatwan as the originators of the pricing plan.

While some have charged the races have been fixed, recently, there's been a rash of longshots crossing the finish first, and offering substantially large pay-offs.

OPEC President, Sheikh Ahmad al-Sabah has firmly denied the reports, indicating the the cartel is exploring pumping some 30 million barrels per day by the fourth quarter to help ease the crisis.

Department of Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman, who was cautious in his remarks, waiting for a more detailed report, suggested that "maybe we should base our GNP ratio on who wins the fourth race at Belmont".

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