Former HP chief eyeing career options

Mark Hurd, who recently resigned from HP due to conduct stemming from a relationship with a contractor, says several companies have contacted him about a job, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

What's next on the career path for former Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Mark Hurd?

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

Hurd, who resigned after an investigation into sexual-harassment claims found that he violated standards of business conduct, reportedly has told friends that he's received a variety of job offers, including one the day after he exited HP, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription required).

Although Hurd hasn't revealed the sources of the job offers, a person cited by the Journal as familiar with the situation said that the former CEO has been approached by a variety of businesses, including public companies and private-equity firms. On his end, Hurd has simply said he wants to do something about which he's "passionate."

Experts quoted by the Journal disagree on where Hurd may end up next. One recruiter said it's unlikely he'll soon run another major public company in light of the HP scandal. But others believe differently, with one person citing the case of Steven Heyer, former CEO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. Forced out in 2007 after allegations of sexual harassment, Heyer landed on his feet earlier this year to become chairman and CEO of Harry & David Holdings, a specialty retailer in Oregon.

Hurd himself appears to be taking his exit from HP hard, describing it to friends as a period of "mourning," according to the Journal. Steering the company as CEO for five years, he helped cut costs, drive key acquisitions, and expand its offerings in consulting and business software, thereby building HP into one of the industry's largest tech companies.

Hurd resigned from HP on August 6 after an investigation into claims of sexual harassment by Jodie Fisher, a former HP marketing contractor. Following its own investigation, HP cleared Hurd of any violations to the company's sexual-harassment policy. But the board of directors did find that he had violated its business conduct standards by failing to disclose the relationship with the contractor.

The board was also upset to learn that Hurd had fudged expense reports in an attempt to cover up his relationship with Fisher and that he had already reached a settlement with her over the harassment charge before HP started its own investigation.