HP's Board Ousting Mark Hurd: An Example of Corporate Governance?


Code : GOV0058

Year :

Industry : Information Technology and Computers

Region : US

Teaching Note:Not Available

Structured Assignment :Not Available

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Abstract: This case study helps in analyzing if the HP Board acted in right way by ousting one of the most successful CEO’s that America has seen in the recent history – Mark Hurd. This case also helps in understanding the importance that companies place (or should place) on their code of conduct and how important it is for the employees, at all levels, to follow ethics. This case also puts forth the importance of public image of a corporation.

Mark Hurd was appointed as CEO by the HP Board, to restore the investors' faith in the company and arrest perpetual slide of fortunes during the tenure of Carly Fiorina. He did restore investors’ faith by delivering superior financial performance even in the face of acute recession during 2008-2010. It was under his tenure that the HP had regained the top position in the PC market overtaking Dell and the shre price had almost doubled.

When a former marketing consultant to HP, Jodie Fisher (Fisher), charged Hurd with sexual harassment none of his achievements could save him his job. Though, the company's investigators found no evidence for Fisher's charges, they revealed that Hurd had submitted inaccurate expense accounts. HP's Board sought Hurd’s resignation in August 2010 stating that he had not lived up to HP’s code of ethics and had lost the necessary judgment to be at the helm of affairs.

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Pedagogical Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of code of conduct.
  • Analyze if the Board was justified in seeking resignation of Hurd.
  • Debate if the situation really warranted losing a successful CEO over such an issue.
  • Understand the prominence of public image of a corporation.

    Keywords : Ethics, Corporate Governance, Mark Hurd, Hewlett Packard, Public Image, Carly Fiorian, Board of Directors

    Contents :
    » HP Under Carleton Fiorina
    » Mark Hurd at HP: Beginning a new Era
    » The Controversy: Beginning of the End of the Era
    » The Resignation

    Case Introduction >>

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