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HP board gets five new members in wake of Hurd departure

Warwick Ashford

Hewlett-Packard's board of directors has today appointed five new members in the first big change under HP's new chief executive Leo Apotheker and chairman Ray Lane.

Each of the new board members provide fresh insight and perspectives relating to HP's business and the rapidly changing technology industry, said non-executive board chairman Ray Lane.

The appointments bring the total number of board members to 17, but a third of the board that forced Mark Hurd to resign as chief executive in August are to step down in March.

The board will be reduced to 13 with the departure of Joel Hyatt, John Joyce, Bob Ryan and Lucille Salhany, who have announced they will not stand for re-election.

The shake-up gives HP distance from the continuing fallout from the departure of Hurd, whose resignation knocked $10bn off the company's market value, according to the Financial Times.

Associated Press said at least two of the directors were forced out because of their handling of Hurd's ousting, citing an anonymous source.

The new appointments follows news that HP board members are to supervise a fresh investigation into the circumstances that led to the departure of Hurd.

The investigation was revealed in court documents pertaining to a case brought by HP shareholders, who say Hurd's severance package of up to $40m was a waste of money.

An earlier internal investigation after a sex harassment claim by former HP contractor Jodie Fisher found that Hurd had only violated the company's code of conduct by manipulating expense reports to conceal his relationship with Fisher.

HP negotiated a payout for Hurd, who settled privately with Fisher, but some shareholders say the payout was excessive and should be returned to the company.

The case has been delayed to give the new HP directors time to investigate the claims.

The new directors include former Ebay chief executive Meg Whitman, Shumeet Banerji, chief executive officer of consulting firm Booz & Company, Dominique Senequier, chief executive of AXA Private Equity; and Patricia Russo, the former chief executive officer of Alcatel-Lucent.


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