HP to investigate Hurd resignation

Jan. 20, 2011 at 4:47 PM
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SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Hewlett-Packard Co. plans to probe circumstances of the resignation of former chief Mark Hurd and his golden parachute, a U.S. District Court filing indicated.

The proposed investigation is in response to a shareholder demand and was revealed Jan. 14 in a filing at U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., for a lawsuit brought by another shareholder, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The filing, a joint action by the plaintiff, Hewlett-Packard and its board, said the investigation will be conducted by outside lawyers and Hewlett-Packard board members who came on board after Hurd resigned as chief executive officer in August.

Hurd resigned following an investigation into a claim that he sexually harassed a former contractor. The company said the investigation found that Hurd didn't violate the company's sexual harassment policy, but uncovered other business-conduct violations. When he resigned, Hurd was given a compensation package valued at more than $35 million.

A hearing on the proposal is scheduled for next week. If it is approved, it will become at least the third such investigation, joining the Hewlett-Packard's original inquiry and a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into the circumstances surrounding Hurd's departure.

HP announced Thursday its board of directors has appointed five new members, effective Friday, bringing the number of board members to 13. The company said four directors were leaving.

Among the new board members is Meg Whitman, the former president and chief executive officer of eBay and the Republican candidate in the 2010 California governor's race.

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