HP's Mark Hurd resigns amid sexual harrassment investigation

CFO Lesjak takes over as interim CEO in wake of Hurd scandal

Hewlett-Packard's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and President Mark Hurd has resigned effective immediately. The board of the company has appointed CFO Cathie Lesjak as interim CEO. According to a company press release, Hurd's resignation follows an investigation by outside legal counsel and the General Counsel's Office into a claim of sexual harassment against Hurd and HP by a former HP contractor to HP. HP said the investigation "determined there was no violation of HP's sexual harassment policy, but did find violations of HP's Standards of Business Conduct."

Mark Hurd

Mark Hurd is stepping down as CEO of Hewlett-Packard following an investigation into claims that he sexually harassed a former contractor to the company.

Also see: What Hurd and other tech CEOs made last year

The investigation, conducted by outside legal counsel and the company's general counsel and overseen by the board, found that Hurd did not violate HP's sexual harassment policy but he did violate HP's standards of business conduct, the company said.

Cathie Lesjak, HP's CFO, will serve as interim CEO while a search committee looks for a permanent replacement for Hurd. She will retain her CFO position and has asked not to be considered for the permanent position.

"As I step into the role as interim CEO, I've never had more confidence in the company's future," she said in a conference call about the announcement.

HP discovered the situation recently when outside legal counsel sent a letter to the company on behalf of the contractor on June 29. The next day, the board was notified and launched the investigation.

The complaint was lodged by a marketing consultant who does not wish to be named, HP said.

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"The announcement today has nothing to do with the operational performance of the company but is really all about Mark's behavior and judgment," said Lesjak.

So far, no civil or other litigation has been filed against Hurd, Mike Holston, HP's general counsel 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," Hurd said in a statement.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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