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HP's Former CEO: Trust Problems and Bad Judgment

August 9th, 2010 | Small Business | No Comments »

As I’m sure a lot of you have read, HP’s CEO, Mark Hurd, resigned last week.  It wasn’t due to poor earnings or prospects for growth.  In fact, a lot of people credit Mr. Hurd for turning things around for HP over the last several years.

Nope.  Mr. Hurd resigned because he was caught lying on his expense reports.  There was an ongoing investigation over complaints of sexual harassment.  To avoid disclosing the relationship with one of his assistance, which he apparently spent company money on, he mischaracterized why he incurred certain expenses.

So, Hurd resigns and is getting $20M-$50M in severeance payments.

Few questions that come to mind on this:

1.  Hurd made millions of dollars every year.  Could he not cover the expense of some dinners and drinks on his own and not expense it?  Is it worth saving $2,000/year at the expense of your job and stock options? 

2.  Why is he getting his severance paid?  Usually most severance packages are conditioned on the executive not resigning due to fraud.  I’m no lawyer (ok, maybe I am), but submitting false expense reports seems to be fraudulent. 

3.  Did he have to have an affair with his assistant?  I mean, it is so cliche.  Couldn’t he have at least run away with his massage therapist.  This whole having an affair with an assistant is the main reason why my wife won’t allow us to hire an assistant at KikScore.  I’m having to open the mail, return phone calls, shred incriminating documents all by myself.  It’s overwhelming.

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