Mark Hurd, HP’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President has resigned his positions with immediate effect. Meanwhile, the Board has appointed CFO Cathie Lesjak, 51, as CEO on an interim basis. Lesjak is a 24-year veteran of the company who has served as HP’s CFO and as a member of the company’s Executive Council since January 2007. Lesjak will among other duties, oversee all company financial matters and will retain her CFO responsibilities during the interim period.
Hurd’s decision was made following an investigation by outside legal counsel and the General Counsel’s Office, overseen by the Board, of the facts and circumstances surrounding a claim of sexual harassment against Hurd and HP by a former contractor to HP. The investigation determined there was no violation of HP’s sexual harassment policy, but did find violations of HP’s Standards of Business Conduct.
A Search Committee of the Board of Directors has been set up comprising Marc L. Andreessen, Lawrence T. Babbio, Jr., John H. Hammergren, and Joel Z. Hyatt, to oversee the process for the identification and selection of a new CEO and Board Chair. Candidates from both inside and outside the company will be considered. The selection of a new chairman will occur in conjunction with the CEO decision. The statement further says HP’s lead independent director, Robert Ryan, will continue in that position.
Hurd said: “As the investigation progressed, I realized there were instances in which I did not live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity that I have espoused at HP and which have guided me throughout my career. After a number of discussions with members of the board, I will move aside and the board will search for new leadership. This is a painful decision for me to make after five years at HP, but I believe it would be difficult for me to continue as an effective leader at HP and I believe this is the only decision the board and I could make at this time. I want to stress that this in no way reflects on the operating performance or financial integrity of HP.”
“The corporation is exceptionally well positioned strategically,” Hurd continued. “HP has an extremely talented executive team supported by a dedicated and customer focused work force. I expect that the company will continue to be successful in the future.”