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Hewlett-Packard on Friday said that the chairman, chief executive officer and president Mark Hurd has decided with the board of directors to resign his positions effective immediately. The decision was made following an investigation by outside legal counsel of the facts and circumstances surrounding a claim of sexual harassment against Mr. Hurd and HP by a former contractor to HP.

“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. [...] 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. I want to stress that this in no way reflects on the operating performance or financial integrity of HP," said Mark Hurd.

The investigation determined there was no violation of HP’s sexual harassment policy, but did find violations of HP’s standards of business conduct.

The board has appointed chief financial officer Cathie Lesjak ac chief exec on an interim basis. Ms. Lesjak is a 24-year veteran of the company who has served as HP’s CFO and as a member of the company’s executive council since January 2007. She oversees all company financial matters and will retain her CFO responsibilities during the interim period.

“[Mark Hurd] has worked tirelessly to improve the value of HP, and we greatly appreciate his efforts. He is leaving this company in the hands of a very talented team of executives. This departure was not related in any way to the company’s operational performance or financial condition, both of which remain strong,” said Robert Ryan, lead independent director of HP's board.

In a bright news HP is announcing preliminary results for the third fiscal quarter 2010, with revenue of approximately $30.7 billion up 11% compared with the prior-year period. In the third quarter, preliminary GAAP diluted earnings per share (EPS) were approximately $0.75. For the fourth fiscal quarter of 2010, HP estimates revenue of approximately $32.5 billion to $32.7 billion, GAAP diluted EPS in the range of $1.03 to $1.05. For the full year, HP now expects revenue in the range of $125.3 billion to $125.5 billion. FY10 GAAP diluted EPS is expected to be in the range of $3.62 to $3.64.

Tags: HP, Hewlett-Packard, Business

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