The letter that ended up getting then-HP CEO Mark Hurd fired has been made public, after Hurd’s lawyers failed to convince a court that the letter should remain confidential. The court instead ruled that disclosing it would not violate California’s privacy rights, because information that is only “mildly embarrassing” is not protected from public disclosure.
Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook and on Google+
Mark Hurd resigned as HP’s CEO and president in August of 2010 after being accused of sexual harassment by contractor Jodie Fisher. Not only did he received a severance package of $12.2 million from the company, he parachuted safely: Hurd is now working for HP’s rival Oracle as one of its co-presidents.
The letter, from Fisher’s high-profile attorney Gloria Allred was obtained by media outlets as soon as the ruling releasing it came down. It was addressed directly to Mark Hurd from Allred and dated June 24, 2010.
According to Allred’s letter:
- Mark Hurd’s infatuation with Fisher began when he saw her on the NBC reality TV show “Age of Love.”
- Allred was quite clear, stating that Hurd had designs on Fisher from the start, intending to make her one of his female companions.
- Fisher was taken aback by early meetings with Hurd, which she said felt more like dates than a dinner meeting.
- Hurd intimated that he had at least one woman in New York and another in San Francisco who regularly spent time with him, during his travels. [Hurd was, of course, married with two daughters.]
- The letter details overtures Mark Hurd made to Jodie Fisher in 2007 in which he said, while at the Ritz Carlton, “So, you’ll stay the night, right? You’ll stay?,” intimating, of course, that Fisher sleep with Hurd that evening.
- Hurd told Fisher that many women found him desirable, including, he said, singer Sheryl Crow.
- At another event, this one in February of 2008 at Rancho Bernardo, CA, Hurd went to Fisher’s room with her and tried to stay, but she made excuses to force him to leave.
- Mark Hurd once stopped at an ATM in order to show Fisher that his checking account balance was in excess of a million dollars, in order to impress her.
- Finally, after rejection after rejection after rejection, Mark Hurd gave up on Fisher, and gave her no further contracts.
In conclusion, Allred said:
Ms. Fisher has been very damaged. You treated her as a sex object, hand-picking her from a TV show, expecting sexual favors in return for giving her work. This is the most egregious type of sexual harassment and this situation is exactly what our laws are borne out of. Women should not have to “put ouC in order to keep their jobs. She refused your quid pro quo attempts at sex and has now been discarded by you and HP.
Despite all this, HP’s own investigation never uncovered evidence to support Fisher’s harassment claim, but it did find that Hurd filed inaccurate expense reports for his meetings with Fisher.
It’s unclear if this will in any way damage Hurd’s current employer, Oracle, but Ed Maguire, an analyst with Credit Agricole Securities said it was unlikely. Notably, Hurd helped grow HP’s revenue to $114.6 billion from $80 billion in his time as CEO during fiscal years 2004 to 2009.
HP’s stock has declined 44 percent since Hurd left, it’s discarded replacement CEO No. 1 (Leo Apotheker), and hired Meg Whitman as their current CEO. Meanwhile, Oracle’s share price has risen 12 percent since Hurd joined the company in September of 2010.
You can read Allred’s letter to Hurd in full, here.