Former HP CEO Hurd settles with accuser

Mark Hurd reportedly paid female contractor to settle the claims that led to his resignation as chief executive of Hewlett-Packard.

Former HP CEO Mark Hurd.
Former HP CEO Mark Hurd. HP

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd has reportedly settled sexual harassment claims that led to his departure from the company.

Hurd paid the woman, who was previously identified as a contract worker, an undisclosed amount of money, according to an Associated Press report. HP was reportedly not contributing any funds to that sum. ( The resolution of the claim was later confirmed by Jodie Fisher , the contract worker at the center of the probe.)

Hurd resigned his position as chairman and chief executive officer of the Silicon Valley giant on Friday after it was revealed that HP had conducted an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment involving Hurd. The resignation took effect immediately. He was replaced by Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjak, who will act in an interim capacity.

On a conference call with the media Friday afternoon, HP General Counsel Mike Holston said Hurd had a "close, personal relationship" with a female contractor for two years between the fall of 2007 and 2009 that he did not disclose to the board of directors. The name of the contractor and her contracting firm were not disclosed.

The contractor had retained Gloria Allred of the Los Angeles-based law firm Allred, Maroko & Goldberg as her attorney. Allred did not immediately return calls for comment or confirmation of the report but had previously denied her client had had an affair with Hurd.

A spokesperson for Hurd did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

HP's board conducted an investigation with outside investigators and concluded that while Hurd had not violated the company's sexual harassment policy, his conduct "exhibited a profound lack of judgment," according to Holston. HP's board insisted Hurd resign.

Hurd will receive a severance payment from HP of $12.2 million, plus other stock benefits, on the condition that he agrees not to pursue any legal action against the company, according to the separation agreement HP filed with the SEC on Friday.

Hurd joined HP in 2005 as CEO and president and was named chairman of the board in September 2006. Prior to that he spent 25 years at NCR, where he became CEO in 2002.

Updated at 5:25 p.m. PDT with confirmation by the contract worker at the center of the probe.

Related stories:
Analysis: Hurd's double faults leave him out at HP
Analysis: What's next for HP after Hurd
HP statement on Hurd resignation
HP's letter to employees on Hurd resignation

 

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