SEC probes HP/Mark Hurd/Jodie Fisher allegations

Mark Hurd broke three regulations, it is alleged: Gave Jodie Fisher inside info., fiddled expenses, deleted evidence. SEC investigating.

Jodie Fisher (promotional headshot)
By Richi Jennings. December 21, 2010.

Those pesky "people familiar with the matter" have been chatting again. It seems the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into tittle-tattle that Mark Hurd was a naughty boy before leaving HP. Allegations include passing insider information to soft-porn actress Jodie Fisher, improper expense reporting, and destroying evidence. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers are glued to the story that will not die.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention Error'd...


Ben Worthen, Justin Scheck, Joann S. Lublin, and Robert A. Guth tag-team the tawdry tale:

The Securities and Exchange Commission is checking whether Mr. Hurd passed information about H-P's $13.9 billion acquisition of ... [EDS] to a former H-P event hostess ...  Jodie Fisher ... before the deal was announced. ... The SEC is also looking at Mr. Hurd's use of corporate expenses in his dealings with Ms. Fisher.


The SEC probe adds a new dimension to the continuing drama of Mr. Hurd's departure. ... Mr. Hurd reached a private settlement in August with Ms. Fisher after which she said her initial claim contained inaccuracies. ... H-P's investigation determined that Mr. Hurd used corporate funds to pay for meals and hotels for Ms. Fisher ... improper personal use of corporate money can lead to an [SEC] case against an executive.

Robert McMillan explains:

HP's investigation cleared Hurd of the sexual harassment charges, but found that he had filed inaccurate expense reports in an effort to conceal his relationship with ... Jodie Fisher.


If Fisher or someone she knew executed a trade based on that information ... before it was announced ... that would be insider trading.

Nick Farrell does as the Romans do:

The SEC is looking at a lot of allegations about Hurd, who is now working for his chum, Larry Ellison at Oracle. ... The claim that he told Fisher about EDS first appeared in a letter that Fisher's lawyer, Gloria Allred, wrote to Hurd in June.


The SEC is apparently [also] looking into ... claims that [Hurd] destroyed computer data prior to his departure from the company.

Which made Eric Savitz' ears prick up:

I haven’t seen anyone previously report that Hurd may have destroyed evidence; it sounds like he may have deleted incriminating e-mails.


When they say they are “fully cooperating,” I think they really are fully cooperating. The Journal notes that HP provided the SEC with the results of its own internal probe of the matter. ... It’s hard to see how HP itself faces a lot of liability here; Hurd could be more vulnerable. ... Don’t be surprised if nothing happens, or if Hurd settles without endangering the security of his new gig at Oracle.

So what does Levi Sumagaysay have to say?

You’d think that amid the recession and after such a sudden and steep fall, Hurd would still be unemployed. But he is of an elite class, the kind with powerful friends.


After the Hurd scandal ... Ellison, the good old flamboyant CEO, became ever more quotable and animated about his animosity toward longtime partner HP. The Oracle-HP rivalry now looks to become one of the classic battles in Silicon Valley.


And Finally...

Error'd: Wireless cable, Dell do not, Modem failed, and more

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Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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