HP CEO Hurd Settled With Sexual Harassment Accuser

August 8, 2010

(ChattahBox)—Mark V. Hurd, the disgraced former CEO, President and Chairman of computer giant HP, resigned “effective immediately” on Friday, after an internal investigation found evidence of fudged expense accounts, in the course of investigating sexual harassment claims lodged against Hurd, by a former female contractor. HP’s investigation found that Hurd falsified his expense reports to hide a “close personal relationship” with the contractor. Both Hurd and the unnamed contractor’s lawyer, celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, deny the existence of an intimate sexual relationship, but no further details were provided. Now, the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets, are reporting that Hurd settled all legal claims with the woman on the day before he resigned.

Hurd’s sudden departure from the helm of HP, a company he is credited with turning around after the mismanagement and excesses of Carly Fiorina’s reign, shocked the business world on Friday. According to the company’s carefully parsed press release, Hurd’s actions didn’t rise to the level of sexual harassment, but were found to have violated “HP’s Standards of Business Conduct.”

Hurd issued a mea culpa statement, expressing regret for failing to live up to “standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity.”

It’s not clear from the various media reports if a payment was made to the woman, as part of the legal settlement. HP denies paying the woman, but Hurd may have personally paid the woman to settle the sexual harassment claims. HP was provided a legal release from Gloria Allred:

According to Reuters, citing unnamed sources, the contractor may have received a cash settlement:

‘”Mark has settled the matter with the woman,” said one source who was briefed on the matter. This person said the settlement included a payment, but the amount was not disclosed.”

“Another source with knowledge of the matter said HP was given a “release” by the contractor, and that the company had not paid her any money. This person also said Hurd had settled the matter. Both sources spoke on condition of anonymity.”

The Wall Street Journal confirms Reuters report of the settlement:

“Terms of the settlement couldn’t be learned. One of the people familiar with the situation said the resolution between Mr. Hurd and the contractor didn’t involve H-P paying any money to the woman.”

The Journal article also quoted “a person familiar with his version of events,” denying many of HP’s accusations made against Hurd, which forced his untimely resignation.

Hurd does not leave the company empty-handed however, despite his reputation taking a beating. Hurd was awarded with a $12,224,693 cash severance, in addition to HP stock worth about $16 million.


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