HP hires firm to lead CEO search to replace Hurd

The company also named a journalist to lead its corporate communications

HP has signed on executive search firm Spencer Stuart to lead its bid to find a replacement for former chairman, president and CEO Mark Hurd, who resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal.

The Chicago-based company will lead a committee that also includes Marc Andreessen, Lawrence Babbio Jr. and Joel Hyatt, HP said in a statement.

The committee will consider both internal and external candidates to "identify a CEO with the right leadership qualities to move HP into the next phase of growth," HP said.

The company said it will not comment further on the search until it's ready to name a new CEO.

HP asked Hurd to resign after sexual harassment allegations were made by a former marketing contractor, who later identified herself as actress Jodie Fisher.

An investigation by HP found that Hurd had a personal relationship with Fisher that he hid from the board of directors and that he had made payments to her for events that never took place. While the board did not find any violation of HP's sexual harassment policy, it did discover that Hurd was reimbursed by HP for the payments to Fisher through his expense reports.

HP also named a journalist to lead its corporate communications, Connie Guglielmo. She will take on her new vice president role at the start of September.

Guglielmo has been a journalist for over 20 years, most recently writing about Hurd's departure for Bloomberg News.

The decision to put Guglielmo at the helm of its corporate communications is noteworthy considering another HP scandal from 2006, in which the company admitted to snooping on several journalists and its own board members in an effort to find out which director was giving sensitive information to the media.

That scandal led to the resignation of three HP directors, including then-chairwoman Patricia Dunn.

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Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
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