01:20 AM

New HP director fired exec who had AIDS, wanted to bar women from Dartmouth

"I'm Joel Hyatt and you have my word on it." Anyone growing up on probably the entire Eastern seaboard remembers seeing those TV ads. Those ads led Hyatt Legal Services to be the largest single law provider in the country and enabled Hyatt to become a major player in the Democratic party. He even won the Ohio nomination for senator, only to lose in the general election. Such a player is Hyatt that he teamed with Al Gore on Current and now serves as CEO of Current Media.

HP was thusly proud, then, to announce that Hyatt has taken a place on HP's board, expanding the board membership to 10. The other new board member is John Joyce of Silver Lake, formerly an IBM executive for 20 years, notes the Mercury. Both men bring "deep business knowledge, exceptional judgment and outstanding character," HP said.

But Slashdot points around to some good dirt on Hyatt worth expanding on. To wit:

  • Hyatt illegally fired the head of HLS' Philadelphia office when he discovered he had AIDS. Hyatt's behavior was "so outrageous, judge ruled in 1990 that he awarded punitive damages for $157,000. Hyatt made "absolutely no effort" to accommodate Cain, the judge ruled but mounted a "corrupt assault" on his dignity by demoting him to an entry-level position.

    The whole story is remarkable similar to the Tom Hanks movie "Philadelphia," in which Hanks plays a lawyer fired by his conservative law firm because he has AIDS. The studio denies the film was based on any one case. (If you're really interested, look up 734 F.Supp. 671 on your favorite legal research serviced.)

  • Robert Scheer reported in 1999 that while at Dartmouth he advocated keeping the college free from females.

  • Scheer also reported that the Hyatt hotel chain once sued him for using the Hyatt name. His real name, apparently is Joel Hyatt Zylberberg. But "I'm Joel Zylberberg and you have my word on it" somehow doesn't have the same ring.

Hyatt will serve on the HR committee, which presumably would be in charge of pretexting directors and employees for corporate leaks.