HP CEO resigns suddenly amid harassment allegations


— 9:45 AM on August 9, 2010

Ronald caught this in the Shortbread over the weekend, but the sudden resignation of HP CEO Mark Hurd on Friday deserves some additional attention. The HP press release is fairly frank about the reasons for Hurd's departure:

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.

The resignation is a surprise, in part because Hurd brought financial success to HP. NASDAQ.com says, "Hurd was credited with doubling the firm's market capitalization, which has climbed to around $108 billion since he grabbed the wheel in 2005."

This morning, multiple news outlets are reporting that the contractor who made the initial allegations against Hurd was Jodie Fisher, a former soft-core porn star who reportedly "was paid $5000 a pop to greet people and make introductions at HP marketing events," according to PC World.

Hurd's departure leaves HP seeking a new CEO for the second time in five years.

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