Aug 09

mark_hurd

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The ouster of Hewlett-Packard Co.’s CEO leaves a hole in the world’s largest technology company.

Mark Hurd engineered a stunning turnaround of the Silicon Valley stalwart. Under Hurd, HP has spent more than $20 billion on acquisitions to transform itself from a computer and printer maker dependent on ink sales for profits to a well-rounded seller of hardware and lucrative business services. HP’s market value nearly doubled during his five years.

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In recent weeks, Hurd had started talks for a three-year contract that could have been worth $100 million, a person close to the case told The Associated Press. Those went off track when the woman accused him and HP of sexual harassment, this person said.

The company determined Hurd didn’t violated its sexual harassment policy but broke its rules of conduct.

The woman’s lawyer, celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, declined to describe the harassment. Allred would not identify her client or make her available for an interview.

Hurd will get about $28 million in cash and stock just to walk away. The person said Hurd realized he could no longer lead HP in part because at least two board members were convinced he had had a sexual relationship with the woman and was trying to cover it up.

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