Did former CEO pass on info about EDS buy?
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking into Mark Hurd’s departure from HP, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the report suggests the SEC will examine whether ex-CEO Hurd passed on information about HP’s $13.9bn acquisition of services firm EDS before the deal was announced. It is alleged that Hurd may have leaked information to Jodie Fisher, the contractor at the centre of allegations that resulted in Hurd losing his job at HP.
Hurd left HP after allegations of sexual harassment and falsifying expenses came to light. HP said an internal investigation found that Hurd hadn’t violated HP’s sexual harassment policy but did uncover "numerous instances" in which Hurd submitted inaccurate expense reports meant to conceal Hurd’s "close, personal relationship" with an independent contractor. The investigation found instance where Fisher had been paid for events that never took place.
The inquiry was launched after Fisher claimed she had been sexually harassed by Hurd, who denied having an inappropriate relationship with Fisher.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the probe will also examine use of corporate expenses in his dealings with Fisher.
"Mark acted properly in all respects," Glenn Bunting, a spokesman for Hurd, told the Wall Street Journal. "It is understandable that the SEC is looking into the events surrounding Mark’s departure, which was followed by a precipitous drop in the value of HP’s stock."
Mark Hurd has since joined his long-time tennis buddy Larry Ellison at Oracle, replacing Charles Phillips as co-president. There he is expected to oversee the continued integration of Sun Microsystems, acquired by Oracle for $7.4bn last year. The acquisition of Sun will see Oracle move more in to space occupied by HP such as servers and other data centre products, and it is thought Hurd’s knowledge of this area will serve Oracle well.