The Hewlett-Packard board ousted former CEO Mark Hurd not because of sexual harassment charges against him, but because the board felt he went behind its back to settle with the woman who made the charges. Board members thought Hurd's deal with former actress and HP management consultant Jodie Fisher botched their own internal probe of the case, adding to directors' mistrust of him, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Hurd settled with Fisher the night before a planned mediation session between Fisher, her lawyer, and lawyers for HP and Hurd. HP directors were left feeling short-circuited, said a source close to the board said. But a source close to Hurd countered that in the weeks before the settlement, board members had urged him to settle with Fisher before the mediation session.