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.
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.
Wall Street analysts also questioned HP's judgement.
"I agree with the direction, that the board needs to be refreshed, but I am not sure I agree with the choices that were made," said Trip Chowdhry, a Global Equities Research analyst.
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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