HP’s decision to fire Mark Hurd remains somewhat baffling to us. The official line is that he was tossed for fudging expense accounts while flirting with b-movie actress Jodie Fisher.An embarrassing charge for sure, but hardly the type of thing that should topple the CEO of one of the biggest tech companies in the world.
Well, Adam Lashinsky at Fortune has published a deep account of what “really” happened to get Hurd fired.
According to Lashinsky, Hurd was tossed because he did not want to disclose publicly that Fisher, and her attorney Gloria Allred, were accusing him of sexual harrassment. The board wanted Hurd to disclose the charge, because they knew it would eventually get out.
As Hurd fought over disclosure, the board gradually lost faith in Hurd and assumed he was a liar. Hurd says there was no relationship with Fisher, but as more details emerged it became clear something was happening between the two — be it a friendship or more. Once the board stopped trusting him, they decided to toss him.
The board was fully supportive of Hurd until the harrassment charge came to light.
Lashinsky seems to suggest If Hurd had just been forthright about what happened with Fisher, he would still be CEO of HP.