Report: Hurd told contractor about EDS buy

Mark Hurd's curious dismissal from HP last summer was brought on in part by his disclosure of inside info about the planned purchase of EDS, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Sexual harassment, inaccurate expense reporting, and now disclosing inside information?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd revealed confidential company information to former contractor Jodie Fisher, whose claim that he sexually harassed her led to his resignation from the company this summer.

That bit of information reportedly came out of a letter written to Hurd by Fisher's lawyer Gloria Allred on June 29, which is what set off the board investigation into Hurd's activities. In the letter, Allred accused Hurd of sexually harassing Fisher, and that "Hurd told her of HP's intention to buy EDS at an HP event in Madrid in March 2008," according to the report.

Fortune has a broader overview of the events leading up to Hurd's dismissal, and also notes that Allred's letter accused Hurd of dishing a "professional secret" to Fisher.

HP officially announced its intent to acquire EDS for $13.9 billion in May 2008.

That he allegedly spoke about the EDS buy ahead of time could shed a bit more light on Hurd's sudden departure in August. He copped to not complying with HP's code of business conduct, but denied having any romantic entanglement with Fisher, something she echoed, which made his departure perplexing, considering his success in turning around the company.

It always seemed there was something missing from that story , that there was another reason he lost the confidence of his board of directors so quickly. Certainly revealing the company's strategic plans to a contractor could do just that.

HP, for the record, declined to comment on the reports.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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