SEC Probing Former Hewlett Packard CEO's Departure

Published by: Mike Goldman on 21st Dec 2010 | View all blogs by Mike Goldman
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SEC Probing Former Hewlett Packard CEO's Departure

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has reportedly begun an inquiry into Mark Hurd's August 6th departure as CEO of Hewlett Packard Co, according to sources close to the matter.

The sources declined to be identified because the inquiry has not yet been made public.  Officials are looking into whether Hurd leaked information about HP's planned acquisition of Electronic Data Systems Corp. to a contractor, according to a Monday report in the Wall Street Journal.

Hurd stepped down as HP's chief executive after an investigation determined that he had violated standards of business conduct by maintaining a hidden personal relationship with a contract event coordinator, Jodie Fisher.  He allegedly leaked information about the proposed EDS acquisition, the Journal reported in November, citing a letter Fisher had written accusing Hurd of harassment.

The investigation into the harassment claim found improper expense reports filed by Hurd or in his name, according to a statement from HP officials released in August.  The company eventually decided that Hurd had not violated its harassment policy.

SEC regulators are also looking into Hurd's handling of expense reports and whether he destroyed key evidence related to his departure.  HP is fully cooperating with the SEC probe, though they have not publicly divulged what, exactly, the SEC is investigating.

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