Hewlett-Packard Co.’s Mark Hurd resigned as chief executive officer after an investigation found he had a personal relationship with a contractor who received numerous inappropriate payments from the company.
Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjak, 51, will take over as interim CEO. While an investigation didn’t find a violation of the company’s sexual-harassment policy, Hurd “demonstrated a profound lack of judgment that seriously undermined his credibility and damaged his effectiveness in leading HP,” General Counsel Michael Holston said. The shares plunged 9.3 percent in late trading after the announcement.
The departure leaves Hewlett-Packard, the world’s biggest maker of personal computers and printers, in search of a new CEO and chairman after more than five years under Hurd. On his watch, the Palo Alto, California-based company regained leadership in the PC market from Dell Inc. and used acquisitions to expand into new areas, such as computer services. The company’s stock-market value increased $44.6 billion, rising to $108.1 billion, since Hurd took the helm on April 1, 2005.
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