HP CEO resigns suddenly amid harassment allegations

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.

Comments closed
    • LoneWolf15
    • 9 years ago

    /[<"Hurd brought financial success to HP"<]/ Quite a difference between enhancing shareholder value and bringing innovation a-la the Bill Hewlett+Dave Packard style. Of what little I know of Hurd, a lot came from slashing and burning, much like Fiorina before him. I still don't think HP is looked at (by its rank-and-file employees) as the great environment it was to work in prior to their tenures as CEO.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 9 years ago

    Bill Clinton, is that you?

      • albundy
      • 9 years ago

      dont Lewinsky that CEO. He at least got a pr0nstar. Poor guy. cant CEO’s pay for this like normal people?

    • Klopsik206
    • 9 years ago

    It’s obviously much more to it. Honestly, 20K is irrelevant amount of money…

    I think it may actually come out as a positive change for HP.
    Hurd was good CEO for reorganization period and he was very effective in cost cutting, he is leaving the firm in much better overall shape after those few years.
    However, i think he lacked the truly strategic vision and direction for HP. Let’s hope the new CEO be able to push them on the right track.

      • ludi
      • 9 years ago

      $20k that was irregularly reported in expense reports has repurcussions much wider than just the money itself, you know.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    What was reported on public radio this morning is he was fired for spedning 20,000 of the companies money on said porn star and not reporting it honestly in his expense account.

      • bthylafh
      • 9 years ago

      Pretty stupid, considering how much he had to be getting paid yearly.

      Is he married? Probably done to hide it from his wife, if so.

        • kvndoom
        • 9 years ago

        Methinks this is just a snow job. He saved HP, turned the company around, so they aren’t going to disclose the real facts and tarnish his image.

        …of course the Internet will take care of that anyway…

    • kvndoom
    • 9 years ago

    l[

      • jpostel
      • 9 years ago

      He also got about $16 million in stock options.

      I someday hope to be fired like this.

        • indeego
        • 9 years ago

        Seems a really small amount considering how much other peoples’ money he directly controlled. With various index funds invested, he likely impacted the lives of billions of peopleg{<.<}g

      • blastdoor
      • 9 years ago

      I don’t care about him so much, I’m more concerned for HP shareholders. They lose a CEO who appears to have been quite effective just because he felt the need to hide his love of porn stars. So the punishment for spending $20k without proper authority is a $12 million severance package? How is this in the best interest of HP shareholders exactly?

      Seriously, folks… let this man enjoy his porn out in the open, and hire/fire/reward/punish on the basis of his actual job performance!

    • blastdoor
    • 9 years ago

    Very odd. I wonder if there’s more to it than this.

    I would think HP shareholders would be happy to let Hurd fool around with as many soft-core porn stars as he likes, given how effective he has apparently been as CEO.

    Too bad more CEOs can’t be like Richard Branson and just be open with their enthusiasm for attractive naked women. The costs of closet heterosexuality are just too high…

      • Xenolith
      • 9 years ago

      Agree, has to be more to the story. This is too petty of a crime to let go of an apparently successful CEO.

        • demani
        • 9 years ago

        I think it was because she was a 50 yo, has been porn starlet who was last on reality TV. If he thinks that is a good decision, seriously, what else does he think is a good decision? Running WfW 3.11 on tablets?

          • blastdoor
          • 9 years ago

          Uh… there’s really no need to *guess* about what else he things is a good decision. We could, you know, look at what his other decisions are? Like buying Palm, for example? Seemed potentially smart to me. We could also look at the value of HP stock since he arrived — looks like it’s doing pretty well.

          So unless there’s something else that hasn’t come out, it seems to me that this is a guy who’s a pretty good CEO who made the mistake of living in a puritanical country filled with people who hate sex and hate themselves for secretly liking sex (which of course they hate).

        • blastdoor
        • 9 years ago

        Here’s a thought — watch to see if the webos tablet project survives hurds departure. If it dies, then we can chalk this up to a Microsoft special ops smear campaign to punish him from straying from the Microsoft way.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 9 years ago

      Do the crime, do the time.

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