The Silicon Valley drama surrounding HP's former CEO Mark Hurd continues today with another segment that includes new details about the relationship between Hurd and former contractor Jodie Fisher, as well as a Wall Street Journal report about a letter that Fisher wrote to Hurd that was filled with allegations.
The letter, according to unnamed sources in the Wall Street Journal report, alleged that Hurd leaked details of HP's plan to acquire EDS more than a month before the deal was announced. In that letter, she said that Hurd told her of the company's plans for the acquisition during a March 2008 HP event in Madrid. The deal was announced in May 2008.
An unnamed Hurd spokesman denied the allegation, telling the WSJ that "there's absolutely nothing to it" and adding "Mark is a very experienced CEO; he knows what he can and can't say" about company information. HP declined to comment to the WSJ. Fisher and her lawyer, Gloria Allred, also declined comment.
From the WSJ report:
After Mr. Hurd reached a private settlement with Ms. Fisher on Aug. 5, Ms. Fisher wrote a second letter—a copy of which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal—absolving H-P of responsibility and stating that her earlier complaint contained "many inaccuracies." She didn't specify which claims were inaccurate, but wrote: "I do not believe that any of your behavior was detrimental to HP or in any way injured the company or its reputation."
Meanwhile, Fortune today published a juicy read on the back story behind the Hurd-Fisher "relationship," according to interviews with... well, the Fortune piece never really offers much insight into how or where it obtained all of these details.
But it does paint a nice picture of Fisher as a once-down-on-her-luck actress who once posed for Playboy and later found herself as a head-turning "cougar" in a reality TV show. And it portrays Hurd as somewhat an obsessive executive who lost the faith of the board that he once led, a board that found itself trying to move carefully following a pretexting scandal that bruised the company a few years ago.