After five years as CEO of the world’s largest maker of personal computers and printers, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark “That’s What I” Hurd stepped down from his post on Friday after the company discovered he’d been intimately involved with a former contractor… and falsified documents to cover it up.
Several weeks ago, the contractor — who is described as working on “marketing matters” — accused Hurd and the company of sexual harassment. HP says their investigation found that Hurd didn’t violate the company’s sexual harassment policies, but he did falsify expense reports and other documents to both conceal the relationship and to get the contractor paid for work she didn’t do.
Afterward, Hurd confessed there were “instances in which I did not live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity that I have espoused at HP.”
Hurd didn’t leave empty-handed; he’ll receive a $12.2 million severance payment.
Even though HP’s stock had doubled during Hurd’s tenure, the company’s general counsel made it quite clear in a conference call that “it would be impossible for him to be an effective leader moving forward and that he had to step down… The facts that drove the decision for the company had to with integrity, had to do with credibility, had to do with honesty.”
The company’s chief financial officer, Cathie Lesjak was named interim CEO.