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HP CEO resigns after sexual harassment claims

CFO Cathie Lesjak will act as interim CEO now that Mark Hurd has stepped down

Mark Hurd no longer works for Hewlett-Packard.
Mark Hurd no longer works for Hewlett-Packard.

Mark Hurd has resigned from his roles as chairman, CEO and president of Hewlett-Packard following claims of sexual harassment against Hurd and HP by a former contractor to the company.

Hurd's decision, which has already come into effect, was communicated when HP released a statement on Friday, and follows an investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding the claim.

While there was found to be no violations of HP's sexual harassment policy, it's said that violations of HP's Standards of Business Conduct were evident.

"As the investigation progressed, I realized 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. 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," Hurd said.

According to a Reuters report, the investigation found inaccurate expense reports filed by Hurd or on his behalf, and instances where the contractor received compensation for no legitimate business purpose. Sources close to the matter say that Hurd reached a legal settlement with the woman, which included a payment.

CFO Cathie Lesjak has been appointed CEO on an interim basis until a new CEO and chairman can be found, with HP looking at candidates from both inside and outside the company.