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HP CEO Mark Hurd Resigns after Violating Company Policies

Hewlett-Packard Co. chief executive officer Mark Hurd is stepping down effective immediately, the company announced late Friday.

Hurd, HP's CEO for more than five years, resigned following a sexual harassment probe resulting from a claim by former contractor to the company. While the investigation concluded that Hurd didn't violate the company's sexual harassment policies, it did determine he violated the company's standard business conduct rules, the company said.

"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," Hurd said in a statement announcing his resignation. "I want to stress that this in no way reflects on the operating performance or financial integrity of HP."

CFO Cathie Lesjak will serve as interim CEO while retaining her existing duties. HP's board is conducting a search for a new CEO

Hurd's resignation is a stunning fall for an executive widely regarded by Wall Street and the IT community for turning around the company. Not only has the company seen huge revenue and profit growth on his watch, but he engineered some key acquisitions including Mercury Interactive, Opsware, EDS, 3Com and, most recently, Palm Inc.

In the same announcement, HP preannounced preliminary results for its fiscal third quarter and raised its full-year outlook. Revenues were $30.7 billion -- up 11 percent over the same period last year. For the full year that ends October 31, HP is forecasting revenues will reach $125.3 to $125.5 billion.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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