HP CEO Out After Sexual Harassment Investigation
HP has announced that Chairman, CEO and President Mark Hurd has resigned his positions. This comes following an investigation into sexual harassment claims made against Hurd and the company made by a former contractor.
The company says the investigation determined there was no violation of HP’s sexual harassment policy, but did find violations of HP’s "Standards of Business Conduct."
Hurd had the following to say: "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. After a number of discussions with members of the board, I will move aside and the board will search for new leadership. This is a painful decision for me to make after five years at HP, but I believe it would be difficult for me to continue as an effective leader at HP and I believe this is the only decision the board and I could make at this time. I want to stress that this in no way reflects on the operating performance or financial integrity of HP."
"The corporation is exceptionally well positioned strategically," he added. "HP has an extremely talented executive team supported by a dedicated and customer focused work force. I expect that the company will continue to be successful in the future."
Robert Ryan, lead independent director of the Board, added, "The board deliberated extensively on this matter. It recognizes the considerable value that Mark has contributed to HP over the past five years in establishing us as a leader in the industry. He has worked tirelessly to improve the value of HP, and we greatly appreciate his efforts. He is leaving this company in the hands of a very talented team of executives. This departure was not related in any way to the company’s operational performance or financial condition, both of which remain strong. The board recognizes that this change in leadership is unexpected news for everyone associated with HP, but we have strong leaders driving our businesses, and strong teams of employees driving performance."
HP’s Board of Directors has appointed CFO Cathie Lesjak as CEO on an interim basis. She has 24 years with the company under her belt. She will also retain her CFO responsibilities during the interim period. "I accept the position of interim CEO with the clear goal to move the company forward in executing HP’s strategy for profitable growth," she said. "We have strong market momentum and our ability to execute is irrefutable as demonstrated by our Q3 preliminary results."
A Search Committee of the Board of Directors has been created to oversee the process for finding a new CEO and Board Chair.