Update: HP's Mark Hurd resigns amid sexual harassment probe
A complaint was lodged by a former marketing contractor to the company
IDG News Service - Mark Hurd is stepping down as CEO of Hewlett-Packard following an investigation into claims that he sexually harassed a former contractor to the company.
The investigation, conducted by outside legal counsel and the company's general counsel and overseen by the board, found that Hurd did not violate HP's sexual harassment policy but he did violate HP's standards of business conduct, the company said.
Cathie Lesjak, HP's CFO, will serve as interim CEO while a search committee looks for a permanent replacement for Hurd. She will retain her CFO position and has asked not to be considered for the permanent position.
"As I step into the role as interim CEO, I've never had more confidence in the company's future," she said in a conference call about the announcement.
HP discovered the situation recently when outside legal counsel sent a letter to the company on behalf of the contractor on June 29. The next day, the board was notified and launched the investigation.
The investigation discovered that Hurd had a "close personal relationship" with a marketing contractor that he did not disclose to the board, Mike Holston, HP's general counsel said. The consultant does not wish to be named, he said.
It also revealed that there were numerous instances where the contractor was paid or reimbursed without performing work. There were also inaccurate expense reports from Hurd meant to hide his personal relationship with the contractor, Holston said. That evidence pointed to "a profound lack of judgment" by Hurd, he said.
"Based on all of this, the board concluded and Mark agreed that it was impossible for him to be an effective leader and he has stepped down," he said.
HP would not reveal the amount of money improperly expensed by Hurd and the contractor but implied it wasn't significant. "Let's be clear, the amount of expenses we're talking about are not material to HP," Holston said. "It wasn't the dollar amount that drove the board decision. The fact that drove the decision for the company had to do with integrity, it had to do with credibility and it had to do with honesty."
Company leaders are satisfied that the investigation showed that the pattern of improper expense reports did not extend beyond Hurd and the contractor, he said.
The executives stressed that the company is financially sound and that Hurd was not solely responsible for the company's past successes.
"The announcement today has nothing to do with the operational performance of the company but is really all about Mark's behavior and judgment," said Lesjak.
In attempting to distance the company from Hurd, HP board member Marc Andreessen said: "HP is not about any one person."
- Reviews: HP's EliteBook 840 and Logitech's ConferenceCam CC3000e
- Helping Data Centers to Cope With Big Data Workloads
- HP upgrade project meets a NASA that's 'resistant to change'
- Power to the portable: 3 high-performance mobile workstations
- 3 Powerful Laptops Built for Serious Business
- As Twitter hires, HP fires
- Perspective: Microsoft's CEO pick will be dubbed a dud, bragged as brilliant
- 3 Things That Will Make the 'New' Dell Different
- Chromebooks charge into business market
- Review: Dell Compellent storage delivers flash speeds at disk prices
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- The CIO's Guide to Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) This guide will help those making an EMM platform decision make the best choice for their organization.
- Yankee Group: BlackBerry Results Refute Rumors of its Demise Yankee Group: BlackBerry® is stronger than the press makes it out to be.
- Your New EMM Platform: How to Streamline the Migration Smartphone migration can be resource-intensive and challenging. Find out how outsourcing the process can save significant time and money.
- Live Webcast Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing...
- Testimonial: Cystic Fibrosis Trust Peter Hawkins, the Head of IT for Cystic Fibrosis Trust, discusses the role CommVault's Simpana software platform plays in improving the company's information...
- Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing... All Management White Papers | Webcasts