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HP’s Former CEO Said to Settle With Sexual-Harassment Accuser

Mark Hurd
Mark Hurd, former chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co. Kimberly White/Bloomberg

Hewlett-Packard Co. Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd reached a settlement last week with a woman who accused him of sexual harassment, releasing HP from responsibility, two people familiar with the matter said.

Hewlett-Packard was informed by Hurd’s attorneys that he had settled with the woman, who worked as a contractor for HP between 2007 and 2009, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the settlement hasn’t been made public. HP didn’t make any payments, one of the people said.

Hurd, who had been Hewlett-Packard’s CEO since 2005, resigned Aug. 6 after a company investigation found he violated its standards of business conduct by submitting inaccurate expense reports and concealing his personal relationship with the woman, who has not been identified. HP found that Hurd didn’t violate its harassment policy.

The expenses, which ranged between $1,000 and $20,000, were for meals and travel, and Hurd intends to pay back the amount, according to one person familiar with the matter.

The contractor’s attorney is Gloria Allred, a lawyer with Allred, Maroko & Goldberg in Los Angeles who specializes in discrimination suits. She has represented clients in cases involving O.J. Simpson, Scott Peterson, Charlie Sheen and Tiger Woods. Allred said on Aug. 6 that “there was no affair and no intimate sexual relationship between our client and Mr. Hurd.”

The departure leaves HP, the world’s biggest maker of personal computers and printers, in search of a new CEO and chairman. In a conference call with media today, the company said Hurd’s resignation won’t affect products or customer relationships and that the depth of management is the best in its history.

“One thing changed in this company on Friday, and that is our CEO left,” interim CEO Cathie Lesjak said on the call. “Our management breadth and depth in the company is as strong as it’s ever been.”

Hurd’s departure also won’t affect HP’s product rollout, Shane Robison, chief strategy and technology officer for the Palo Alto, California-based company, said on the call.

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