Mark Hurd Resigns HP

August 6, 2010 by staff 

Mark Hurd Resigns HPMark Hurd Resigns HP, August 6 (Reuters) – Hewlett-Packard Co. ‘s Mark Hurd resigned as general director after an investigation found he had a personal relationship with a contractor who received payment from the company that was unrelated to the business.

Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjak, 51, will take over as interim CEO, Palo Alto, California-based HP said in a statement. While a sexual harassment investigation found no violation of this policy, Hurd “demonstrated a profound lack of trial that seriously undermine its credibility and damaged his effectiveness in the direction of HP,” said general counsel Michael Holston in an interview.

Hewlett-Packard, the world’s largest maker of personal computers and printers, is now seeking a new CEO and president, after more than five years under Hurd. He helped to regain the lead company in the PC market to Dell Inc. and acquisitions to expand into new areas such as computer services. The value of the company’s stock market and increased 44.6 billion, rising to 108.1 billion and, since Hurd took the helm on April 1, 2005.

“Clearly there has been an important leader and visionary in the restructuring of the company,” said Jeffrey Fidacaro, ananlyst at Susquehanna Financial Group in New York. “It will be a significant loss of the company in terms of operations.”

Harassment Complaint

Lesjak, HP veteran of 24 years, do not want to permanently replace Hurd, the company said. HP Hurd began investigating after the contractor has filed a sexual harassment claim. The HP probe found violations of standards of business conduct, but found no violations of its policy of harassment, the company said.

“The board took immediate action in this case and its decision was right and necessary to defend the HP values of trust, respect and integrity without compromise,” said Holston.

“It would be hard for me to continue as an effective leader in HP and I think this is the only decision of the board and I could do right now,” Hurd, 53, said in a statement. “I want to stress that this in no way reflects on the operational performance or financial integrity of HP.”

Hewlett-Packard fell to 4.80 and 41.50 and in late trading after the announcement. The shares, down 10 percent this year, down 5 cents at 46.30 and today in the New York Stock Exchange.

“The company has a strong management team behind Mark Hurd,” Nehal Chokshi, Insights Research Analyst-Southridge Technology Research Group in New York. “However, whenever there is a key executive that has the brand value, so that Mark Hurd has to expect people to react negatively.”

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