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Patricia Dunn Resigns from HP Board

Posted on 23-Sep-2006 10:04 | Filed under: News

HP has announced that Patricia Dunn, chairman of the board and director, has resigned, following a series of events resulting from accusations of spying into board members and reporters.

The company issued a statement where it says that "Pattie Dunn has been a valuable director of HP for many years. We acknowledge all of the good work that Pattie has accomplished on behalf of HP. She helped stabilize the business during the CEO transition. She led the search committee for our new chief executive officer, which led to our hiring of Mark Hurd and the outstanding performance of the business over the last 18 months. She served our board with distinction as chairman for the last year and a half. The board felt it was important to find the sources of the leaks of HP confidential information, and she informed the board that she had taken steps to do so. We have never questioned her intentions, her integrity or her ethics. To move forward, we believe it is in the company’s best interest that she now step aside given the distraction her presence on our board continues to create. We regret that we will lose her contributions to the board and appreciate that she has agreed to our request."

Patricia Dunn "[I have] resigned today at the request of the board. The unauthorized disclosure of confidential information was a serious violation of our code of conduct. I followed the proper processes by seeking the assistance of HP security personnel. I did not select the people who conducted the investigation, which was undertaken after consultation with board members. I accepted the responsibility to identify the sources of those leaks, but I did not propose the specific methods of the investigation. I was a full subject of the investigation myself and my phone records were examined along with others. Unfortunately, the people HP relied upon to conduct this type of investigation let me and the company down. I continue to have the best interests of HP at heart and thus I have accepted the board’s request to resign. I look forward to appearing before Congress next week to answer their questions and help the company put this unfortunate event behind it.”

Mark Hurd was named HP Chairman, in addition to his roles as President and CEO. In addition, Richard Hackborn has been named independent lead director of the company, also effective immediately.

HP is also seeking to take appropriate action in connection with the investigation into leaks from its boardroom. For this, the company has appointed Bart M. Schwartz, a former U.S. prosecutor, as counsel, to perform an independent review of investigative methods and the company's Standards of Business Conduct processes, and to make future recommendations for implementing best practices.

Bart Schwartz will report in this assignment to Hurd and to Bob Wayman, HP chief financial officer.

Mark Hurd issued a statement saying "I wish to apologize both personally and on behalf of HP to each of those who were affected. We believe these unacceptable measures were isolated instances that do not reflect the broader behavior and values of HP, its employees or its board. But they cannot occur here again. Our actions today are intended to ensure that they never do."