Sexual harassment charges take down HP's CEO

HP logoToday, Hewlett-Packard announced that its CEO, Mark Hurd, will step down from his role and leave the company in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations.

Hurd has been widely praised for his role in refocusing HP after the tenure of Carly Fiorina and an internal spying scandal under her successor; after those periods of turmoil, Hurd's five year tenure has seen the company develop into a consistent profit maker and leader in global PC sales. The CEO position will be filled by HP's CFO, Cathie Lesjak, who has announced that she will only serve until a successor can be named.

Mark Hurd

Although HP's return to the top of the PC leaderboard may have grabbed the headlines, other changes have probably had a more significant impact on the company's stability and profitability. Some strategic acquisitions have allowed the company to offer vertically integrated solutions and develop its consulting business along the lines of IBM's. The company isn't always on top of everything—witness its confusing flirtations with Windows 7, Palm's WebOS, and Android for various consumer products—but these situations have been the exception under Hurd's management.

His business acumen, however, couldn't protect him from some personal issues, namely a charge that he was involved with the sexual harassment of a contractor. HP states that an investigation by an outside counsel cleared Hurd when it comes to HP's sexual harassment policy, but decided that he had breached its Standards of Business Conduct. HP seems to take these things seriously, given that it has a link on its homepage that lets people notify the company of "Ethics Concerns & Questions."

HP's board has set up a committee to find a permanent replacement. No other management changes are planned at this time.

Source: ars technica

Tags: HP

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