The chief executive of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) resigned Friday amid allegations of sexual harassment.
In announcing the resignation of CEO and President Mark Hurd, the company said it did not find any violations of sexual harassment, but did find Hurd violated the company's standards of business conduct. The board appointed CFO Cathie Lesjak on an interim basis.
The sexual harassment claim was made against Hurd and HP by a former contractor. Some immediate reports said that the claims stemmed from inappropriate expenses.
"As the investigation progressed, 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," Hurd said in a statement. "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.
The company's stock was dropping several percent in after-hours before trading was halted on the news.
In the same announcement, the company announcing preliminary results for the third fiscal quarter 2010, with revenue of approximately $30.7 billion up 11% compared with the prior-year period.
Lesjak has taken herself out of consideration as the permanent CEO but will serve as interim CEO until the selection process is complete. Candidates from both inside and outside the company will be considered. The selection of a new chairman will occur in conjunction with the CEO decision, the company said.
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