New Board Emerging at HP After Four Veteran Members Decide Against Running Again

By Ed Silverstein January 21, 2011

A new board of directors is emerging at Hewlett-Packard with several of the older board members – apparently still haunted by the departure of CEO Mark Hurd – opting not to run again.

Four of the current directors, who worked on issues related to Hurd’s departure, have voluntarily taken themselves out of the running for re-election. HP has named five new directors to take their places on the board.

Joel Hyatt, John Joyce, Robert Ryan and Lucille Salhany are leaving the board, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Hyatt and Joyce may have been Hurd's strongest advocates as the board considered a sexual harassment claim related to a former independent employee working for the company, according to the Journal.

It was Ryan and Salhany who led the board's investigation into Hurd’s activities. Hurd did not violate an HP policy on sexual harassment, according to the board’s conclusions. But they had concerns about his business conduct. Hurd quit the CEO’s post in August 2010.

The five new directors include:

  • Shumeet Banerji, CEO of Booz and Co.
  • Gary Reiner, former chief information officer of General Electric Co.
  • Patricia Russo, former CEO of Alcatel-Lucent
  • Dominique Senequier, CEO of AXA
  • Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay, Inc.

Meanwhile, TechZone360 reports that several of HP’s independent directors, who took their posts after Hurd left, will review Hurd’s departure, Reuters said. Outside legal counsel will help them conduct the investigation, Reuters said.

Hurd is now co-president at Oracle. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison was a vocal opponent of Hurd’s forced resignation, according to a blog posting from TechZone360 CEO Rich Tehrani.

HP’s earlier investigation showed “inaccurate expense reports” were submitted, and concluded that Hurd's actions, related to the consultant, showed “a lack of judgment,” Reuters said.

As the inquiry takes place, shareholders are suing H-P, apparently in response to its actions in Hurd’s departure.

They say the “separation agreement” cost the company about $40 million, in either cash or stock/options, Reuters reported. They also claim the expenditures amounted to "corporate waste," Reuters said.

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Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributor

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