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Hurd's career at HP gets a tabloid finish

Actress and business exec Jodie Fisher ID'd as person behind complaint against former CEO (see video, below)

August 9, 2010 11:01 AM ET
Mark Hurd
Former HP CEO Mark Hurd.

Computerworld - The woman who had a "close personal relationship" with former Hewlett-Packard Co. Chairman and CEO Mark Hurd is a business executive and sometime actress who appeared most recently in NBC's short-lived reality TV show Age of Love.

Her name is Jodie Fisher. A single mom, she was identified Sunday night by her attorney, Gloria Allred, a high-profile Los Angeles litigator.

"I was surprised and saddened that Mark Hurd lost his job over this," Fisher said in a statement released by Allred. "That was never my intention."

Hurd's resignation from the top jobs at HP was announced suddenly late on Friday by the company. His departure followed an internal probe of Fisher's complaint of sexual harassment.

Fisher said she settled that claim "with Mark privately, without litigation."

"Mark and I never had an affair or intimate sexual relationship," said Fisher, who noted that she met Hurd in 2007 when interviewing for a job at HP. (She got the job.) "I was under contract to work at high-level customer and executive summit events held around the country and abroad," she said. "I prepared for those events, worked very hard and enjoyed working for HP."

Exactly what happened on the job has not been explained by HP, which acknowledged on Friday that Fisher had filed a sexual harassment complaint against the company.

On Friday, HP had said only that Hurd had "close personal relationship" with a woman contractor it did not identify. In the absence of clarity from HP about just what was meant by close personal relationship, Allred's law firm issued a one-sentence statement to explain what wasn't involved: "There was no affair and no intimate sexual relationship between our client and Mr. Hurd."

HP said that Hurd did not violate the company's sexual harassment policy, but rather its standards of business conduct. HP said the then-unidentified contractor had received compensation and/or expense reimbursement where there was not a legitimate business purpose.

Allred offered a brief resume for Fisher that includes raising a young son and earning a political science degree at Texas Tech. Her work experience includes a recent job as the vice president of a commercial real estate company.

Allred said that Fisher also worked for the House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, and as a "successful salesperson for a Fortune 500 company."

Fisher has also been in various television shows and films, "some of which were R-rated, when she was in her 30's," according to Allred. Fisher was 46 years old at the time she appeared on Age of Love, which ran for just one season, in 2007. (There's a "short bio of her on NBC's Web site.)

On that show, male contestants were "given the chance to choose a woman in her twenties, or a fortysomething on the prowl."

The question examined by Age of Love was "will a man go for youth or maturity." It sought to answer this question: When it comes to falling in love, "does age really matter?"

"I wish Mark, his family and HP the best," said Fisher.

Former actress Jodie Fisher named herself as the person who made the sexual harassment claim against former HP Chairman and CEO Mark Hurd.

Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at Twitter @DCgov, or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed Thibodeau RSS. His e-mail address is pthibodeau@computerworld.com.

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