HP's Mark Hurd resigns amid sexual harassment investigation

Mark Hurd is stepping down as CEO of Hewlett-Packard following an investigation into claims that he sexually harassed a former contractor to the company.

The investigation, conducted by outside legal counsel and the company’s general counsel and overseen by the board, found that Hurd did not violate HP’s sexual harassment policy but he did violate HP's standards of business conduct, the company said.

Cathie Lesjak, HP’s CFO, will serve as interim CEO while a search committee looks for a permanent replacement for Hurd. She will retain her CFO position and has asked not to be considered for the permanent position.

“As I step into the role as interim CEO, I’ve never had more confidence in the company’s future,” she said in a conference call about the announcement.

HP discovered the situation recently when outside legal counsel sent a letter to the company on behalf of the contractor on June 29. The next day, the board was notified and launched the investigation.

The complaint was lodged by a marketing consultant who does not wish to be named, HP said.

“The announcement today has nothing to do with the operational performance of the company but is really all about Mark’s behavior and judgment,” said Lesjak.

So far, no civil or other litigation has been filed against Hurd, Mike Holston, HP’s general counsel said.

“As the investigation progressed, I realized 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 and which have guided me throughout my career,” Hurd said in a statement.

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