Jodie Fisher, the woman at the center of the sexual harassment claim that led to Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) CEO Mark Hurd resigning, said that she is "surprised and saddened" that the events cost him his job.
Fisher, 50, knew Hurd through her work as a contractor with HP's marketing department, The Associated Press reported. Between 2007 and 2009, she was paid as much as $5,000 per event to greet people and make introductions among executives at events.
Her harassment claim against Hurd led to the company discovering allegedly falsified expense claims. Hurd allegedly listed other people as his dinner partners, when he'd actually been dining with Fisher.
"I was surprised and saddened that Mark Hurd lost his job over this," Fisher said in a statement, according to the AP. "That was never my intention."
Hurd, 53, denies falsifying the claims, saying that the claims were for legitimate business expenses and that data may have been incorrectly filed by an assistant.
Fisher says the two never had a sexual relationship, but would not discuss details of the harassment claim.
Hurd settled with Fisher, making an unspecified payment on Thursday, the day before he resigned, the AP said. The settlement did not include a payment from HP.
HP ruled that Hurd didn't violate sexual harassment policy, but that his behavior broke the company's rules of conduct and irreparably damaged his credibility and integrity.
Interim CEO Cathie Lesjak said on Sunday that investors and major customers had been "extremely supportive."
"They respect how we dealt with the situation with transparency and speed. The bottom line is, the HP brand is strong," Lesjak said on a conference call.
With Hurd at the helm, HP spent more than $20 billion on acquisitions. The purchases helped reduce the company's dependence on ink sales for profits and helped transform HP into a seller of hardware and business services.
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