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Tuesday, 17 August 2010 10:29

Hurd's sacking details coming to light

Written by Nick Farell
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Not all it seemed
It is starting to look like HP boss Mark Hurd was fired because the Board were miffed that he settled a sexual-harassment claim before directors could learn more about it. The board is getting into hot water for asking Hurd to leave and is now leaking out why it demanded he was sacked.

Hurd, stepped down on August 6, was scheduled to join a mediation session the previous day to deal with the harassment claim. Instead, Hurd settled the complaint and the meeting never happened.

The board was a bit miffed  because it found that he tried to conceal a relationship with his accuser, a former actress named Jodie Fisher who worked for HP as an event organiser. HP's board said he had violated its standards of business conduct by concealing a relationship with a contract employee and falsifying expense reports.

The company investigated Hurd. While the company determined that he didn't harass Fisher, it found that she received numerous inappropriate payments from HP during her two years as a marketing contractor.

The planned August 5 mediation would have let HP lawyers see evidence behind the sexual-harassment claim and allowed them to question Fisher, they said. But Hurd short circuited that by paying her off. Hurd may receive between $40 million to $50 million to leave HP.

Nick Farell

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