Former HP CEO Mark Hurd loses appeal to keep letter sealed

Hurd, now president of Oracle, loses an appeal in court this week that would keep the letter accusing him of sexual harassment confidential.

Mark Hurd, Hewlett-Packard's former CEO and now the current president of Oracle, lost his fight in court this week to keep confidential a letter alleging sexual harassment.

Oracle President Mark Hurd, who was formerly Hewlett-Packard's CEO. Oracle

A Delaware court ruled yesterday that Hurd had not established "good cause" to keep the letter under wraps. (Here's the court record uploaded by All Things Digital's Arik Hesseldahl.)

The letter in question is from lawyers representing Jodie Fisher , a sometime actress who worked as a contractor for HP to its board of directors. In the letter, she accuses Hurd of harassment that occurred from 2007 to 2009. And she also alleges that during one visit in 2008, Hurd told her about HP's then-confidential plan to acquire IT services EDS. The letter is being sought by investors, who are suing HP, accusing the company of not acting in the best interest of shareholders.

As part of the lawsuit, the plaintiffs have been seeking to make public both the letter that accuses Hurd of harassment as well as a report documenting the result of an internal investigation conducted by HP's board of directors. Plaintiffs had argued that the letter and report offered shareholders insight into possible corporate wrongdoing and waste that may have arisen due to the harassment case that led to Hurd's resignation . Investors involved in the suit also want the terms of Hurd's severance package from HP made public.

Hurd had asked the court to keep the letter involving the allegations confidential. Now that he has lost his appeal, it's unclear when the contents of the letter will be made public.

Earlier the court ruled that the internal HP report would remain confidential.

About the author

Marguerite Reardon has been a CNET News reporter since 2004, covering cell phone services, broadband, citywide Wi-Fi, the Net neutrality debate, as well as the ongoing consolidation of the phone companies. E-mail Maggie.

 

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