HP CEO Mark Hurd, who has made some wild statements about Palm and smartphones in the past, has just resigned from the company over a sexual harassment investigation. Hurd and HP's board of directors decided that the now ex-CEO should resign after a former marketing contractor made a sexual harassment claim against Hurd. HP stated that while there was no violation of its sexual harassment policy, Hurd had submitted inaccurate expense reports that concealed his relationship with the contractor, which is a violation of the company's standards of business conduct. During a Q&A session with some press, HP stated that there is a search committee is in the process of finding a new CEO, but they are not identifying any candidates right now. You can check out the full press release below.
This is huge news from HP/Palm, and potentially great for Palm. Hurd never seemed terribly interested in Palm and its smartphone business, and there's an opportunity to get a new HP CEO that will focus more on webOS software and hardware. I think it would be great to see Palm's Jon Rubinstein be promoted to CEO of HP, but I'm not sure if HP's committee would be willing to hand him the reins of the company. Engadget actually asked HP if Rubinstein was being considered for the job, but HP stated that they were "not identifying any candidates at this time."
HP CEO Mark Hurd Resigns; CFO Cathie Lesjak Appointed Interim CEO; HP Announces Preliminary Results and Raises Full-year Outlook
PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HP (NYSE: HPQ) today announced that Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Mark Hurd has decided with the Board of Directors to resign his positions effective immediately.
“HP has an extremely talented executive team supported by a dedicated and customer focused work force. I expect that the company will continue to be successful in the future.”
The Board has appointed CFO Cathie Lesjak, 51, as CEO on an interim basis. Lesjak is a 24-year veteran of the company who has served as HP’s CFO and as a member of the company’s Executive Council since January 2007. She oversees all company financial matters and will retain her CFO responsibilities during the interim period.
Hurd’s decision was made following an investigation by outside legal counsel and the General Counsel’s Office, overseen by the Board, of the facts and circumstances surrounding a claim of sexual harassment against Hurd and HP by a former contractor to HP. The investigation determined there was no violation of HP’s sexual harassment policy, but did find violations of HP’s Standards of Business Conduct.
A Search Committee of the Board of Directors has been created, consisting of Marc L. Andreessen, Lawrence T. Babbio, Jr., John H. Hammergren, and Joel Z. Hyatt, which will oversee the process for the identification and selection of a new CEO and Board Chair. HP’s lead independent director, Robert Ryan, will continue in that position.
Hurd said: “As the investigation progressed, I realized there were instances in which I did not live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity that I have espoused at HP and which have guided me throughout my career. After a number of discussions with members of the board, I will move aside and the board will search for new leadership. 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. I want to stress that this in no way reflects on the operating performance or financial integrity of HP.”
“The corporation is exceptionally well positioned strategically,” Hurd continued. “HP has an extremely talented executive team supported by a dedicated and customer focused work force. I expect that the company will continue to be successful in the future.”
Robert Ryan, lead independent director of the Board, said: “The board deliberated extensively on this matter. It recognizes the considerable value that Mark has contributed to HP over the past five years in establishing us as a leader in the industry. He has worked tirelessly to improve the value of HP, and we greatly appreciate his efforts. He is leaving this company in the hands of a very talented team of executives. This departure was not related in any way to the company’s operational performance or financial condition, both of which remain strong. The board recognizes that this change in leadership is unexpected news for everyone associated with HP, but we have strong leaders driving our businesses, and strong teams of employees driving performance.”
“The scale, global reach, broad portfolio, financial strength and, very importantly, the depth and talent of the HP team are sustainable advantages that uniquely position the company for the future,” said Lesjak. “I accept the position of interim CEO with the clear goal to move the company forward in executing HP’s strategy for profitable growth. We have strong market momentum and our ability to execute is irrefutable as demonstrated by our Q3 preliminary results.”
Lesjak has taken herself out of consideration as the permanent CEO but will serve as interim CEO until the selection process is complete. Candidates from both inside and outside the company will be considered. The selection of a new chairman will occur in conjunction with the CEO decision.
The company does not expect to make any additional structural changes or executive leadership changes in the near future.
HP announces preliminary third quarter results; raises full-year outlook for revenue and non-GAAP EPS
HP is announcing preliminary results for the third fiscal quarter 2010, with revenue of approximately $30.7 billion up 11% compared with the prior-year period.
In the third quarter, preliminary GAAP diluted earnings per share (EPS) were approximately $0.75 and non-GAAP diluted EPS were approximately $1.08. GAAP and non-GAAP EPS were negatively impacted by $0.02 pertaining to one-time charges relating to the previously announced U.S. Department of Justice settlement. Non-GAAP diluted EPS estimates exclude after-tax costs of approximately $0.33 per share, related primarily to restructuring, amortization of purchased intangible assets and acquisition-related charges.
For the fourth fiscal quarter of 2010, HP estimates revenue of approximately $32.5 billion to $32.7 billion, GAAP diluted EPS in the range of $1.03 to $1.05 and non-GAAP diluted EPS in the range of $1.25 to $1.27. Non-GAAP diluted EPS estimates exclude after-tax costs of approximately $0.22 per share, related primarily to restructuring, amortization of purchased intangible assets and acquisition-related charges.
For the full year, HP now expects revenue in the range of $125.3 billion to $125.5 billion. FY10 GAAP diluted EPS is expected to be in the range of $3.62 to $3.64 and non-GAAP diluted EPS in the ranged of $4.49 to $4.51. FY10 non-GAAP diluted EPS estimates exclude after-tax costs of approximately $0.87 per share, related primarily to restructuring, amortization of purchased intangibles and acquisition-related charges.
HP plans to release its final results for the third fiscal quarter on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010, with a conference call at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT to provide additional details.