January 19, 2011 / 11:34 PM / in 7 years

HP directors to investigate Hurd departure: filing

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A committee of Hewlett Packard directors will investigate former CEO Mark Hurd’s departure from the company amid sexual harassment allegations last year, according to a recent court filing.

The inquiry comes in the course of shareholder litigation involving the company. The investigation will be conducted by independent directors who joined HP’s board after Hurd’s departure, assisted by outside lawyers, the January 14 court filing shows.

Hurd left HP last August amid sexual harassment accusations, though the board found no evidence to back them up. An internal investigation turned up inaccurate expense reports, and HP said Hurd’s actions displayed a lack of judgment.

Hurd now works as a co-president at Oracle.

A representative for Hurd did not immediately comment on Wednesday and an HP spokeswoman declined to comment.

The committee will examine the decision to approve a separation agreement between HP and Hurd, and will report to the board, the filing indicated.

Shareholder plaintiffs estimated that the separation agreement was worth about $40 million in cash, stock and options, which they called “corporate waste.”

Hurd’s separation agreement was later pared back under a settlement between HP and Hurd over his hiring at Oracle.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is In Re HP Derivative Litigation, 10-03608.

Reporting by Dan Levine and Gabriel Madway. Editing by Robert MacMillan

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