The chief executive officer of Hewlett Packard (
), Mark Hurd, resigned suddenly and without warning on Friday, an
announcement obviously timed to fall into the pre-weekend news
"dead zone." Hurd left the company after an investigation which
found that he'd had an inappropriate relationship with Jodie
Fisher, an independent contractor, which "demonstrated a profound
lack of judgment that seriously undermined his credibility."
Hurd was credited with doubling the firm's market capitalization,
which has climbed to around $108 billion since he grabbed the wheel
in 2005. During his tenure, HP took the lead over Dell to become
the nation's top seller of PCs, as well as the second-largest
computer services provider.
The scandal which ousted Hurd revolved around the former CEO's
falsified expense reports, which reportedly concealed a "close
personal relationship" with actress Jodie Fisher. Fisher, who is
being represented by celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, says that she
did not mean for Hurd to lose his job and that there was nothing
sexual in their relationship.
However, Fisher hit Hurd with a sexual harassment charge back in
June, but an internal HP investigation found that no violation of
the company's policies occurred. They did, however, turn up the
fake receipts and unexplained payments to Fisher, who was paid to
help organize and host event functions for HP.
It remains to be seen who will take the reins from Hurd, and how
the market will judge them.