Hurd's exit due to expense-fiddling, not sexual harassment: HP

Actress who sparked CEO's departure says she's sorry he lost his job

Hewlett-Packard has clarified the circumstances surrounding Mark Hurd's departure, saying it was due to his approving compensation and/or expense reimbursment for actress Jodie Fisher, who worked as a contractor to HP, where there wasn't a legitimate business purpose.

Hurd did not violate HP's sexual harassment policies, the company says.

Fisher, a former actress, released a statement through her attorney on Sunday naming herself as the person who made the sexual harassment claim against former Hewlett-Packard Chairman and CEO Mark Hurd that led to his ouster from the company.

Fisher, who's movie credits include Body of Influence 2 and Dead by Dawn said she "was surprised and saddened that Mark Hurd lost his job over this. That was never my intention," in the statement.

She said she has already resolved the sexual harassment claim privately with Hurd, without litigation, and does not intend to comment on it further. The contract work she did for HP involved attending meetings with high level customers and executive summits held around the US and abroad. She said she "worked very hard and enjoyed working for HP".

HP on Friday announced that Hurd had agreed to resign after sexual harassment allegations were made by a former contractor, who was not named until Fisher revealed herself Sunday.

An investigation by HP found that Hurd had a personal relationship with her that he hid from the board and that he had filed inaccurate expense reports meant to hide the relationship. It also revealed that there were numerous instances where Fisher was paid or reimbursed without having worked.

Fisher says she and Hurd first met in 2007 when she interviewed at HP and that, "Mark and I never had an affair or intimate sexual relationship."

Hurd is departing HP with a hefty severance package, including a US$12.2 million cash payment and HP stock worth about $16 million, according to a report filed Friday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

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