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Mark Hurd's secrets are safe

by on23 November 2011

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HP does not have to turn over internal report

HP does not have to turn over an internal report into the departure of former chief executive Mark Hurd, Delaware's Supreme Court has ruled.

Hurd resigned last year after allegations of sexual harassment against a former soft porn star. A company investigation cleared Hurd of harassment, but said he had been lying on his expenses.

However a shareholder, Ernesto Espinoza, sued the company to determine whether the board had grounds to fire Hurd rather than pay him a $30 million separation. Hurd has since joined Oracle as president.

While HP gave Espinoza with copies of board minutes, expense reports and a letter detailing the harassment claims from Gloria Allred, a high-profile attorney who represented the contractor it did not give him its own report into the matter. HP said that the attorney-client privilege protected an investigation prepared for the board by the Covington & Burling law firm.

Delaware's Supreme Court agreed with Chancery Court judge Donald Parsons that Espinoza failed to show that it was really important for his case to have a look at the Covington report.

More here.

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