Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Charlie Sheen To Join HP Board, Follows Appointment Of Will.i.am At Intel

Posted by Tom Foremski - April 1, 2011

Hewlett-Packard [HPQ] will announce that Charlie Sheen has joined its board of directors as part of a growing trend by Silicon Valley tech giants to harness the power of celebrity.

The announcement could come as soon as Monday allowing HP to avoid April Fool's Day and risk confusing investors and Wall Street analysts.

Intel recently appointed popular music artist Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas as its Director of Creative Innovation. His duties include coming up with a replacement for the well known Intel jingle
Hewlett-Packard is struggling to reorganize following turmoil in its senior leadership. Mark Hurd, the former CEO, was pushed out because of allegations of a sex scandal and questions about his personal judgement.

Hewlett-Packard now has a new CEO and has been expanding its board of directors to include a more diverse set of advisors. But some have criticized HP's appointments.

Therese Poletti, a columnist at MarketWatch, wrote that HP's board had become "a motley crew."

Wall Street analysts also questioned HP's judgement.


A source close to HP said that Charlie Sheen's recent meteoric rise in social media popularity caught the attention of HP's new CEO Léo Apotheker.

"Charlie Sheen went from zero Twitter followers to more than 3.3 million virtually overnight. That beats Ashton Kutcher hands down," said the HP source. "Plus, he is less crazy than you think, he's a very savvy entertainer and he knows how to build and keep an audience."

HP believes Charlie Sheen will give the company a much needed boost after many years of layoffs and scandals. He is expected to advise HP on its media strategies.

There is a growing trend among Silicon Valley companies to harness celebrities to help boost their image. Intel says it is pleased with its appointment of Will.i.am.

From Intel's blog:

As an extension of his insatiable fascination with technology, which plays a significant role in his professional and personal lives, will.i.am will engage in a multi-year, hands-on creative and technology collaboration with Intel Corporation. He already sports an Intel ID badge...

(Big Hat Tip to Paul Mooney (@Moon)


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Please see: Google Quietly Drops Its 'Don't Be Evil' Motto

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