The woman who triggered the probe that led to the resignation of HP Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd has been identified in news reports as Jodie Fisher, who says she is saddened by his resignation. Her initial sexual-harassment complaint has been settled, she said.
Fisher, 50, was doing marketing appearances for HP between 2007 and 2009, at a reported $5,000 per appearance. She is a former actress who appeared recently on the "Age of Love" TV show.
Fisher revealed her identity in a statement issued Sunday by her lawyer. In it, she denied having a sexual relationship with Hurd, the New York Times and other news outlets reported.
Hurd, 53, announced his resignation Friday (Aug. 6), immediately after the company finished investigating a sexual-harassment complaint filed against him. The cause was related to filing of falsified expense-reimbursement claims, not the harassment allegation, however.
HP named Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjak to serve as interim CEO. Lesjak, who has been with HP for 24 years, will also retain her CFO responsibilities, HP announced. HP also said Lesjak has "taken herself out of consideration as the permanent CEO" and that the company will consider candidates from both inside and outside the company.
Hurd resigned as the company's chairman, CEO and president after outside legal counsel and the company's General Council's Office investigated a complaint filed by a former contractor to HP.
The investigation determined that there was no violation of the company's sexual-harassment policy, but also found that Hurd violated HP's "Standards of Business Conduct," according to the announcement.
Hurd said in the statement that he realized, as the investigation progressed, that "there were instances in which I did not live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity that I have espoused at HP and which have guided me throughout my career."
"After a number of discussions with members of the board, I will move aside and the board will search for new leadership," Hurd said.
"This is a painful decision for me to make after five years at HP, but I believe it would be difficult for me to continue as an effective leader at HP and I believe this is the only decision the board and I could make at this time."
He said his resignation "in no way reflects on the operating performance or financial integrity of HP."
According to the Wall Street Journal, which participated in a media conference call with HP officials, HP learned that Hurd had a "close personal relationship" with a contractor hired by the Office of the CEO to work on marketing materials. Hurd reportedly never disclosed the relationship to the company.
Mike Holston, HP's general counsel, said at the conference call that there were "inaccurate expense reports submitted by Mark or on his behalf," the Journal reported. The reports allegedly intended to conceal the relationship between Hurd and the contractor, who several weeks ago alleged that Hurd sexually harassed her, the Journal reported.
The HP board formed a search committee to find a new CEO and board chair. Board member Robert Ryan said in the statement that the board "deliberated extensively on the matter" and that it recognizes the "considerable value that Mark has contributed to HP over the past five years in establishing us as a leader in the industry."
"The board recognizes that this change in leadership is unexpected news for everyone associated with HP, but we have strong leaders driving our businesses, and strong teams of employees driving performance," Ryan said in the company's statement.