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HP 'leaker' shows himself the door

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The director fingered by HP as its boardroom leaker has agreed to abandon his post.

George Keyworth resigned today as an HP director. The veteran HP board member has been reluctant to comment on the spying fiasco swirling around him and but abandoned this policy of silence at the very end.

"The invasion of my privacy and that of others was ill-conceived and inconsistent with HP’s values," he said. "I acknowledge that I was a source for a CNET article that appeared in January 2006. I was frequently asked by HP corporate communications officials to speak with reporters – both on the record and on background –in an effort to provide the perspective of a long-standing board member with continuity over much of the company’s history. My comments were always praised by senior company officials as helpful to the company – which has always been my intention."

HP's hired help stopped at almost nothing to flush Keyworth out as the man who handed information about company planning sessions to reporters. Private investigators funded by HP spied on at least nine reporters. It even went to so far as to spy on one reporter's - CNET's Stephen Shankland - father. Mr. Shankland and Keyworth have both worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory - a connection too juicy for the investigators to ignore.

Chairwoman Patricia Dunn, who authorized the leaker probe, today agreed to step down in January as head of HP's board. CEO Mark Hurd will take on the Chairman role, and Dick Hackborn will become HP's lead independent director.

Former board member Tom Perkins, whose public disclosures of the leak op that saw HP gain unauthorized access to directors' and reporters' personal phone records, continues to push his case against the company, as do state investigators. ®

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