HP's CEO Hurd packs his suitcase after sex scandal

Just a month after a top IBM dog fessed up over a sex scandal within the company, HP chief executive Mark Hurd has stepped down following a sexual harrassment suit to be replaced by Cathie Lesjak in the interim.

An insider statement from HP today revealed that the big boss has resigned following a request from the board of directors as a “result of inappropriate behaviour in which he engaged that violated HP’s standards of business conduct.” The sexual harrassment probe apparently undermined Hurd’s ability to “continue to lead the company”.

The internal memorandum read: “”This is to advise you that Mark Hurd, Chairman and CEO of HP, has resigned from the company effective immediately.  Mark’s resignation was submitted at the request of the company’s Board of Directors as a result of inappropriate behavior in which he engaged that violated HP’s Standards of Business Conduct and undermined his ability to continue to lead the company.

“Mark’s resignation followed an internal investigation into a claim of sexual harassment asserted against Mark and HP by a woman who is former contractor to HP.  The investigation was conducted by outside counsel in conjunction with HP’s General Counsel’s office and was overseen by the Board.  Based on the investigation it was determined that the former contractor’s claim of sexual harassment was not supported by the facts.

“The investigation did reveal, however, that Mark had engaged in other inappropriate conduct.  Specifically, based on the facts that were gathered it was found that Mark had failed to disclose a close personal relationship he had with the contractor that constituted a conflict of interest, failed to maintain accurate expense reports, and misused company assets.  Each of these constituted a violation of HP’s Standards of Business Conduct, and together they demonstrated a profound lack of judgment that significantly undermined Mark’s credibility and his ability to effectively lead HP.”

The probe had been hush hush. The Financial Times’ San Francisco correspondent reports that Hurd had been one of Silicon Valley’s “best regarded” business leaders and that his departure wipes “$10 billion” off of HP – straight from the stock market value, within minutes. 

His executive bio has been wiped from the HP website and now leads to a 404 however the Google cache mentions he’s chums with Dirty Digger Rupert Murdoch and is on the News Corp. board of directors. It says he earned a bachelor’s degree, not a batchelor’s degree.

Back in June HP down played the idea that there had been a sex scandal, instead saying that he had made dodgy expense claims. However it’s now come to light, officially, that he had been behaving er, inappropriately. 

Ms Lesjak said: “It has nothing to do with the performance of the company. It is all about his behaviour and judgment.”

* Don’t cry for me, Fiorina.