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With the development of the modern corporation, corporate boards have been the locus of corporate authority, and particularly since the 1980s, boards and their performance have been under intense scrutiny. Nevertheless, corporate law has not developed a consistent theory for what boards are supposed to do; instead, it sends mixed messages about the functions and expectations of boards and the appropriate people to sit on them. The HP saga illustrates some of the dilemmas faced by directors confronted by these competing pressures.