Friends of Mark Hurd pulled off a beautiful spin job explaining to the New York Times why the Hewlett-Packard CEO didn't stop chairwoman Patricia Dunn and a whole team of investigators from digging up reporters' phone records and planning to plant spies at media outlets.

At least twice when he had the opportunity — at meetings in July 2005 and in March 2006 — Mr. Hurd failed to ask critical questions about the methods in the leak investigation.

But some people close to him suggest — though they do not know for certain — that he failed to focus on the leak investigation partly because he was focused on getting the company fixed and partly because he regarded the search as the project of Patricia C. Dunn, the chairwoman.

This image was lost some time after publication.

At Hewlett-Packard, a Chief Wounded by Divided Attention [NY Times]