Hewlett-Packard CEO resignation leaves confusion and chaos behind

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The chief executive officer of Hewlett Packard ( HPQ ), 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. ADNFCR-1724-ID-19922158-ADNFCR



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Personal Finance , Business

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