Playboy model's complaints against HP chief Hurd laid bare by court
'Awkward' dinners, bank balance ATM boasts alleged
The dossier detailing sexual harassment allegations that sparked the exit of HP boss Mark Hurd has finally been published after a court ruled that it was only "mildly embarrassing".
The letter, readable here in pdf courtesy of the New York Times, contains alleged painful details of Hurd's flirtation with HP hostess Jodie Fisher. It was withheld from the public earlier this year, but a new ruling from the Delaware Supreme Court judged that the letter didn't reveal any trade secrets and wasn't embarrassing enough to merit being suppressed.
In the document, dated June 2010, the then-CEO's attempts at chatting up Fisher, a former Playboy model he had handpicked to host conferences for HP, were described as "unwelcome, awkward" and "never reciprocated in any way".
It was alleged that after a dinner date and a rebuffed attempt at a kiss the married HP boss tried to impress Fisher by showing her his bank account balance at an ATM and saying that country singer Sheryl Crow found him attractive. It was further alleged that he boasted of his mistresses in other cities, according to the letter, which was written by Fisher's attorney Gloria Allred.
One conversation in which Hurd tried to persuade Fisher to spend the night with him was described as "going on painfully for an[other] hour", according to the unsealed document.
Hurd persisted for almost two years, it was claimed, as Fisher continued to be requested to hostess at HP conferences around the world, conferences often involving private dinners with the CEO among other awkward situations.
The letter alleges that Fisher's rejections of Hurd finally led to her losing her job in 2009. After that Fisher was not requested to host any more HP conferences.
"Looking at what ensued over the next two years, it is clear you had designs to make her your lover from the onset using your status and authority as CEO of Hewlett Packard and Hewlett Packard monies expecting her to be with you," Allred wrote.
Allred's letter threatened legal action against Hurd and his company. After he handed the document to HP's lawyers, the biz launched an internal investigation but did not find any evidence to support the harassment claims. However the probe did find that Hurd had incorrectly filed his HP expenses while he was out on business trips with her. That discovery led to Hurd's resignation. Fisher dropped her claims upon receiving a payment of an undisclosed sum.
Hurd - who is credited with revivifying HP during his five-year stewardship from 2005 - was given a $30 million golden goodbye from HP, and is now employed at Oracle. ®
Damn straight. Why would anybody think that this sort of behavior deserves $30,000,000? He should suffer the usual consequences for a harasser -- your stuff from your desk in a cardboard box on the curb beside you while you try to hail a cab, company mobile having been confiscated, too.
Be honest, guys -- that's what would happen to the rest of us. I don't know about the rest you, but I've added plenty to the bottom line, and while a piece of that action would be nice, if I'd acted as hornyHurd did, I would (and should) have forfeited it all.
So far, the answer's clear from HP's perspective. OK if you're a CEO to harass people. Just don't get caught.
Funny, if I falsified my expenses claims I don't think I'd even get the chance to offer my resignation, let alone get paid 30 mil to do so.
My impression was the he spent 5 years trimming back staff too far and milking resources to extinction. This will make things look good for a few years, but destroys long-term shareholder value.
As to that latimes article, all it says is that they had a good quarter the last quarter he was there, and were up compared to the equivalent quarter the previous year when he was, um, yes, there. Really doesn't demonstrate anyting other the ability to google for a link and then not even read it