Hewlett-Packard's CEO Mark Hurd has stepped down due to a sexual harassment claim filed against him and the company. An internal investigation into the matter has begun -- Hurd was found to not only have violated the company's sexual harassment policy, but his actions were said to be in clear contrast to HP’s standard of business conduct. The details that have emerged on the matter since Hurd’s departure appear to make the situation far worse than originally reported.
According to the New York Times, Hurd had been filing false expense reports in order to hide an inappropriate relationship he was having with a contractor. In the report there was no mention of how long the affair had been going on or how much money was charged to the company. Executive vice president and general counsel Michael Holston said Hurd displayed “a profound lack of judgment.”
Even with Hurd being forced out of HP in disgrace, he is still set to receive a $50 million severance payout.
HP has named Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjack as its interim CEO, while a board committee has been tapped to search for a permanent replacement.
Update: When the news of Mark Hurd’s affair first broke, there was no mention of whom the HP contractor involved was. Well, we now know the woman in question is soft-core porn actress Jodie Fisher. Along with working in the porn industry, her credentials include being a contestant on NBC’s “Age of Love” and hosting an exercise infomercial.
Once it was revealed she was the HP contractor, Jodie Fisher released the statement below though her lawyer.
"Mark and I never had an affair or intimate sexual relationship. I first met Mark in 2007 when I interviewed for a contractor job at the company. At HP, I was under contract to work at high-level customer and executive summit events held around the country and abroad. I prepared for those events, worked very hard and enjoyed working for HP. I have resolved my claim with Mark privately, without litigation, and I do not intend to comment on it further."
Her comment of not having an affair with Hurd is contradictory to the news on the matter, but at this point whether the affair happened or not is irrelevant.