HP’s Chairman, CEO, and President Mark Hurd tendered his resignation today according to a news release on the HP site.
Hurd’s 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 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.
Hurd has been with HP for the past 5 years and will take 12.2 million dollars in a severance package and a few different stock options with him based on SEC filings, ComputerWorld reports. Just earlier this year, Hurd made the cover of Forbes magazine with many singing his praises.
Unfortunately, a personal relationship with a marketing consultant turned into sexual harassment allegations. There were instances discovered in an investigation that the consultant was paid or reimbursed for no work as well as falsified expense reports that were expected to keep the relationship hidden from the board.
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.”
“The corporation is exceptionally well positioned strategically,” Hurd continued. “HP has an extremely talented executive team supported by a dedicated and customer focused work force. I expect that the company will continue to be successful in the future.”
As for the future…
The Board has appointed CFO Cathie Lesjak, 51, as CEO on an interim basis. 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.