SEC begins probe into Hurd’s resignation

HP CEO investigated for possible insider trading and false expenses

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SEC begins probe into Hurd’s resignation Former HP CEO Mark Hurd is back under the spotlight as the SEC begins investigations into his resignation following allegations of insider trading and false expense reports. (Getty Images)
By  Georgina Enzer Published  December 21, 2010

The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the exact circumstances of Mark Hurd's forced resignation five months ago as the Hewlett-Packard CEO, according to AP.

The forced resignation followed an internal investigation by HP over allegations of sexual harassment. Although the investigation found no evidence that Hurd had harassed former HP contractor, Jodie Fisher, it did turn up the fact that Hurd had falsified expense reports and may have told Fisher in advance about HP's $13.9 billion purchase of Electronic Data Systems in 2008, according to a source.

The SEC is investigating whether Hurd did disclose inside information, although there is no indication that Fisher or anyone else traded on the information. Investigators are also believed to be looking into the falsified expenses and claims that Hurd may have deleted files related to his resignation from an HP laptop.

HP has said that it is co-operating with the investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A spokesman for the ousted CEO said he had done no wrong.

"Mark acted properly in all respects," David Satterfield, a spokesman for Hurd, said in a statement. "It is understandable that the SEC is looking into the events surrounding Mark's departure, which was followed by a precipitous drop in the value of HP's stock."

Hurd received a $12.2 million cash payment upon his resignation, which angered many critics; he also exercised options on around $30 million in HP stock and filed papers to sell the stock.

Hurd would have received more had he not agreed to give back $14 million in restricted stock so he could go and work at Oracle.

HP has still not fully recovered from the $9 billion losses.

Hurd's replacement, Leo Apotheker, the former CEO of business software maker SAP AG, is attempting to put the company back on track.

He has pleased many HP employees by rescinding pay cuts imposed under Hurd, and has promised to focus on software and research to help close gaps with rival IBM.

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