Patricia Dunn has resigned from her position as chairman of Hewlett-Packards board of directors in the wake of the ongoing controversy surrounding the companys investigation into news leaks from board meetings.
HP President and CEO Mark Hurd made the announcement during a news conference Sept. 22, the first time he has directly addressed the firestorm that engulfed the Palo Alto, Calif., company over the prior three weeks.
Dunn had a company, Security Outsourcing Solutions, in early 2005 to investigate leaks to media outlets.
After further leaks earlier in 2006, another round of investigations was done.
Techniques used in the probe—including "pretexting," wherein investigators used Social Security numbers of board members and reporters to gain copies of their telephone records from telephone companies—have been called into question, and are being reviewed by a number of governmental bodies, including Congress, the federal Securities and Exchange Commission and the California State Attorney Generals Office.
The investigation turned up that board member George Keyworth had leaked the information to the media.
Both Keyworth and Tom Perkins, who disagreed with HPs internal investigation, have resigned from the board.
Dunn initially offered to resign as board chairman in January, but stay on as a board member.
However, as more information on the probe became public, pressure on the company increased.
Dunn is leaving the board immediately, and Hurd is taking over as chairman.
In addition, board member Richard Hackborn is now the lead official on the board, and HP also has hired attorney Bart Schwartz, a former federal prosecutor, to review the companys and the boards business procedures to ensure that this type of investigation doesnt occur again, Hurd said.
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