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Judge dismisses HP shareholder lawsuit over Mark Hurd's severance

Says the board did the right thing
Wed Sep 26 2012, 12:16
An HP logo

A LAWSUIT over HP's former CEO Mark Hurd's payoff has been dismissed.

Hurd left HP two years ago under a cloud after it emerged that he filed iffy expense reports, however the man many inside HP loathed for cutting jobs walked off with a multi-million dollar severance package that was approved by the firm's board. Following a lawsuit brought by some of HP's shareholders over the payoff, a judge has dismissed the case against HP's board over Hurd's severance.

US District Judge Edward Davila said the plaintiffs had failed to show that HP's board did not act in the company's best interest. According to Louis Levine, the lead plaintiff, Hurd's payoff was excessive and the firm received no benefit from approving it.

As Hurd systematically gutted HP during his reign as CEO, he also managed to install the firm as the top PC vendor. Nevertheless, given the tight controls he put on staff expenditures in a bid to cut costs, it came as little surprise that many inside the firm were not happy when the top man was suspected to have fiddled his expense reports to get that little bit extra.

Hurd walked out of HP with a payoff estimated to be approximately $30m, only to end up at HP rival Oracle as the firm's copresident. Hurd was also accused of having sexually harassed Jodie Fisher, an independent HP contractor, but settled the matter out of court.

Judge Davila gave the plaintiffs 30 days to file an amended complaint. µ


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