HP to investigate Mark Hurd's departure, severance

January 20, 2011

(AP) -- Hewlett-Packard Co. is looking to investigate the circumstances of former CEO Mark Hurd's departure, including the large severance package he received.

Hewlett-Packard said in a Jan. 14 filing in a federal court in San Jose, Calif., that the investigation is in response to a shareholder's demand that the company look into Hurd's departure, as well as the board's decision to approve his generous severance package.

HP said the investigation will be conducted by board members who joined HP's board after Hurd left, which includes current CEO Leo Apotheker, and by outside lawyers.

Hurd was forced out last year over allegations of and inaccurate expense reports. He received a $12.2 million cash payout and has filed papers to sell some $30 million worth of stock that he got by exercising options that were part of his severance. He agreed to give back $14 million in restricted stock to HP to squash a courtroom battle over whether he should be allowed to work at HP rival Oracle. Hurd is now co-president at .

Shareholders are suing HP on claims that Hurd's severance package constituted "corporate waste."

A spokesman for Hurd declined to comment.

Hurd's resignation is also the subject of a investigation.

Shares of HP, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif., slid 27 cents to $46.05 in midday trading.

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