HP orders probe into Hurd's departure, report says

The company plans to hire outside lawyers after shareholders sue

Hewlett-Packard plans to commission an external probe into the resignation of former CEO Mark Hurd, including his controversial multi-million dollar severance package.

The investigation using outside lawyers would examine the “circumstances surrounding the departure of Mark Hurd and the board’s decision to approve the separation agreement between HP and Mr. Hurd,” according to court papers filed on Jan. 14..

HP's plan for an outside investigation follows a lawsuit in San Jose, Calif., by shareholders who allege that the company’s directors wasted money by giving Hurd $53 million in severance.

Shareholders and HP have asked a judge to put that lawsuit on hold for the investigation, but Hurd said he would consent only if the company gives him information that it has been unwilling to provide, Bloomberg reported.

Hurd’s resignation, which is also being probed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, raised other questions about the former CEO's relations with HP.

An internal HP investigation into Hurd found that he tried to hide personal relationship with a contractor.

In September Hurd was named co-president of Oracle.

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