HP CEO Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Probe

By Jordan Robertson and Rachel Metz
|  Saturday, Aug 7, 2010  |  Updated 3:09 AM PDT
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SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 12: Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd delivers a keynote address at the 2007 Oracle Open World conference November 12, 2007 in San Francisco, California. Oracle Open World runs through November 15. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Hewlett-Packard Co. said CEO Mark Hurd is stepping down following a sexual-harassment probe that found other violations of company standards.

HP said Friday that Hurd decided to leave after the investigation into a sexual-harassment claim made against him and the company by a former HP contractor. The probe concludes that the company's sexual-harassment policy was not violated, but that its standards of business conduct were.

Hurd is expected to receive $12.2 million in severance pay and almost 350,000 shares of HP stock valued at $16 million, the AP reported.

In a statement, Hurd said that during the investigation he "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." He added that he believed it would be "difficult to continue as an effective leader at HP."

Hurd and Robert Ryan, HP's lead independent board member, stressed that Hurd's departure has nothing to do with the company's financial health. The technology company named Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjak as its interim CEO. HP said a board committee will search for a new CEO.

Lesjak, who has been at HP for 24 years, will continue to act as CFO. She decided not to be considered for the position of permanent CEO, the company said.

Also Friday, HP issued preliminary results for its fiscal third quarter, which came in slightly above analyst expectations.

HP said it earned 75 cents per share during the period, compared with 67 cents per share in the same quarter a year ago.
    

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