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HP and the HR Pro: Watch the Agendas, People...

I need to spend some time soaking through the whole firing of Mark Hurd thing at HP.  For those of you who haven't been following the story, here's what I think we know (Read this article for a deeper dive):

1.  A "D" level actress did some work for HP at tradeshows and became friendly with CEO Mark Hurd.Hurd

2.  It appears that Mark Hurd took a liking to this actress and wanted to hang out with her.

3.  Hurd apparently made some poor choices related to expense reports, using the name of others to cover up her presence at dinners and perhaps her presence at shows/locations, etc.

4.  The actress hit HP with a sexual harassment claim.  HP went into investigative mode.

5.  HP found no basis for the sexual harassment claim, but found the expense report issues, which it labeled as indicative of trust and integrity issues related to Hurd.

6.  Hurd settled with the actress for an undisclosed sum before he was fired.

7.  Both Hurd and the actress say there was no intimate relationship.

7.  HP fired Hurd for integrity issues.

8.  The actress, who had hired one of the biggest guns available to litigate, came forward after the firing and said, "It wasn't my intention to get Mark Hurd fired".

9.  Public opinion remains split on this one.  Lots of folks are applauding HP for having a zero tolerance policy on any type of integrity issues, while people like Oracle CEO Larry Ellison looks at HP's actions as proof they won't stand behind a high performing CEO in the face of a bogus harassment claim.

Wow.  That's a lot.  There's probably a lot we don't know about this case and why HP made the call it did, but one thing is crystal clear.

When you field a harassment claim as a HR executive or HR pro in the field, it becomes complex quickly.  Agendas are plentiful, clarity is fleeting.

That's why you're the HR pro.  Good luck out there.



and Hurd walked away with a $40m severance. Wow....wow...not sure about that. Are you?


I'm not sure I would call him a high performing CEO.

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