Mark Hurd, CEO of Hewlett-Packard, resigned after he violated the company’s standards of conduct.
Investigations started from sexual harassment allegations by former employee contractor, Jodie Fisher. Hurd said they had a “close personal relationship”. The company had an in-house hearing that determined that Hurd did not harass Fisher sexually. HP did state Hurd falsified expense reports to hide the relationship.
Mr. Hurd said, “As the investigation progressed, I realised 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. 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.”
After the news of Hurd’s resignation, HP’s shares were lower, despite the company announcing second quarter sales of $30.7bn that far exceeded expectations.
Michael Holston, HP’s general counsel, said Mr. Hurd “demonstrated a profound lack of judgment”. After an investigation by Skadden, Arps, Slate, and Meagher & Flom LLP it was decided that, he had not broken the company’s sexual harassment policy.
Cathie Lesjak, HP’s chief financial officer is the interim replacement. Hurd received a severance agreement prior to his resignation. Entitlements estimate that his departure may net him a $34 severance agreement.