Resignation of Mark Hurd comes out of the blue. Company says that Hurd had filed "numerous" inaccurate expense reports, some of which were made to an outside contractor who apparently was at the center of a sexual harassment investigation. The unidentified contractor said she had had a close personal relationship with Hurd at a time she was providing marketing services to the company. H-P said the probe found no violation of the computer giant's sexual-harassment policy, "but did find violations of H-P's Standards of Business Conduct." Michael Holston, executive vice president and general counsel, said the inaccurate expense reports were intended to conceal the personal relationship. He said it showed "a profound lack of judgement" (never the crime that nails them but the coverup.) Hurd became CEO soon after Carly Fiorina stepped down following an infamous boardroom tussle. Several years later, Fiorina decided to give politics a shot. Here's an early NYT story.
*Different versions of the story are starting to trickle out. From the WSJ:
Mr. Hurd would meet with the woman in Los Angeles and often expensed meals with her to H-P but his reports reflected a different guest than the contractor, said [an unnamed source]. In some cases, the contractor was paid for events that didn't occur, added this person. Another person familiar with the matter took issue with several elements of that account. The person disputed that the CEO flew to Los Angeles to meet the contractor outside of an H-P event. He said the events at issue were forums for around 40 or 50 CEOs and 15 or so H-P staffers, and said that the dinners took place in the hotels where everyone typically stayed.
By the way, Hurd's spokesman is Glenn Bunting, formerly of the LAT and now at Sitrick & Co.