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Electronics Production | August 09, 2010

HP CEO Mark Hurd resigns

Mark Hurd, Chairman, CEO and President at electronics giant Hewlett Packard, has resigned last week with immediate effect.
This decision was made following an investigation by outside legal counsel and the General Counsel’s Office, overseen by the Board, of the facts and circumstances surrounding a claim of sexual harassment against Mr Hurd and HP by a former contractor to HP. The investigation determined there was no violation of HP’s sexual harassment policy, but did find violations of HP’s Standards of Business Conduct.

Mr Hurd said: “As the investigation progressed, I realized there were instances in which I did not live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity that I have espoused at HP and which have guided me throughout my career. After a number of discussions with members of the board, I will move aside and the board will search for new leadership. This is a painful decision for me to make after five years at HP, but I believe it would be difficult for me to continue as an effective leader at HP and I believe this is the only decision the board and I could make at this time. I want to stress that this in no way reflects on the operating performance or financial integrity of HP.”

Jodie Fisher was named in several media reports as the woman at the centre of the sexual harassment claim. However, she said in a statement (released by Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred) that the claim against Mr Hurd was resolved privately and that they never had an affair nor a sexual relationship. Mr Hurd has acknowledged a friendship with Ms Fisher, but denied having a sexual relationship with her.

The HP-Board has appointed CFO Cathie Lesjak, 51, as CEO on an interim basis. Ms Lesjak is a 24-year veteran of the company who has served as HP’s CFO and as a member of the company’s Executive Council since January 2007. She oversees all company financial matters and will retain her CFO responsibilities during the interim period.

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