Whether the accusations are true or not, once a CEO has been accused the entire company can look at fault. In many cases, the best result is for the accused to resign. This is the action that HP took this week when a letter came to the forefront naming CEO Mark Hurd in a case of sexual harassment. The letter alleges that Hurd was making unwanted sexual advances to a woman named Jodie Fisher, all the while bragging that famous women, such as Sheryl Crow, desired him.
When Hurd resigned, he made a quick leap over to Oracle, to work as the president there. Since then, the board of directors at HP has been pursuing their own internal investigation, which has recently uncovered he cheated on expense reports, making the situation even worse for the former CEO of HP, Mark Hurd.
In the meantime, CFO Cathie Lesjak has been brought into the company as the new CEO until the board can conclude their own investigation. The decision for Hurd to step down didn’t come immediately after the sexual harassment letter was received. The initial investigation determined that none of HP’s sexual harassment policies were violated, but did discover that there were some problems with the finances being done by Hurd.
Apparently, there was a large amount of money missing that, reportedly, went to the contractor that was complained of sexual harassment, Jodie Fisher. Now, the investigation has switched over from internal investigation of sexual harassment to one of missing funds. Mark Hurd released a statement of apology and regret for not being able to, “live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect, and integrity…” that he was entrusted with. Mark Hurd worked as CEO of HP for five years before the initial sexual harassment charges were brought to the Board of Directors.
Hurd went on to say that his behavior doesn’t reflect on HP’s sexual harassment policies or financial security, which the investors seemed to believe. Yesterday, HP’s stock price rose .06%, going in the opposite direction that most expected.
Historically, after sexual harassment charges, and the financial fiasco, the investing public would start to see reason to sell off their shares. The only reason that this didn’t happen was because the sexual harassment charges were kept quiet enough that the mainstream media didn’t pick up on it until the finance discrepancies came into light.
HP’s sexual harassment problems are such that they can still be repaired. A company like HP has offices and employees all over the world, which can complicate the idea of having the entire HP workforce take sexual harassment training. Since every state and country makes different sexual harassment policies, it can be tough getting all the working employees educated properly. This is when the idea of ensuring every boss, supervisor, and new CEO takes sexual harassment training is essential.
The ones in charge can take the education they’ve learned and create usable policies that can improve and even prevent sexual harassment in their workplaces. The classes will also help those in charge make clear methods of reporting sexual harassment. That will give those who are victimized a way, and sense, of gaining real justice.