Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd was once lauded by shareholders for his cost-cutting and leadership abilities, but all of that changed when Jodie Fisher, an HP marketing consultant and former actress, accused him of sexual harassment. While the internal investigation eventually concluded that Hurd and Fisher "never had an affair or intimate sexual relationship," HP’s board still found Hurd in violation of their code of ethics (supposedly he falsified expense reports to cover up the relationship,) which forced him to step down from his job.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Hurd was giving Fisher money while she worked in the marketing department during 2007-2009, for which there was no legitimate reason. Clearly, the busty, Texas-born single mom, who also appeared on the 2007 dating reality show Age of Love, has a way with men, if their first response is to throw money at her, but evidently, whatever happened between them did not end well. Flirting At Work: When Is It Sexual Harassment?
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Still, while it’s hard to feel bad for Hurd, especially when he walked away with $12.2 million in severance and $16 million in stock shares after losing his job, it’s a good reminder that office flirtations have the potential to go really, really wrong. The two ended up settling the sexual harassment charges privately, and Fisher claims to be sad about Hurd’s stepping down.
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"I was surprised and saddened that Mark lost his job over this," she said in a statement released by her celebrity lawyer, (who else?) Gloria Allred. "That was never my intention." Although what Fisher’s real intention was (to obtain more money? 15 minutes of fame? Justice?), we’ll never know, unless, of course, she releases a book or speaks to the tabloids. When Does Flirting Cross The Line?
Meanwhile, Hurd’s wife, Paula Kalupa, has stayed silent about the charges, but we’re guessing that Mark will be using some of that severance money to buy her a really large piece of jewelry.