HP’s Mark Hurd Resigns

Mark Hurd has resigned as chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co. amid an investigation into an allegation that he sexually harassed a former contractor of the company.

HP announced Hurd’s immediate resignation on Friday and quickly appointed company veteran and current chief financial officer Cathie Lesjak as interim CEO. Hurd’s resignation stemmed from an investigation conducted by the company’s general counsel and an outside legal counsel on a sexual harassment complaint. The investigation found Hurd not guilty of sexual harassment but it discovered that the 53-year-old executive falsified documents to hide payments to the contractor for non-existent work.

HP said in a statement that although Hurd was cleared of the sexual harassment complaint, he violated the company’s standard of business conduct. Company general counsel Michael Holston said the HP board’s decision “had to with integrity, had to do with credibility, had to do with honesty.”

Hurd accepted his failure, saying that 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.” Hurd, though, would not be leaving empty handed from the company he helped make one of the world’s largest, as he is entitled to a $12.2-million severance pay plus shares amounting to around $16 million.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.