In June 2010, Mark Hurd, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, received a letter claiming sexual harassment of a contract employee, Jodie Fisher. Hurd resigned from HP on August 6, 2010. As one article described the unveiling, "This Is The Letter That Got Mark Hurd Fired As CEO Of HP."
An HP shareholder requested that the letter be made public as part of a lawsuit to, according to The New York Times, "investigate corporate wrongdoing and waste associated with the relationship and Mr. Hurd's resignation." Now the president of Oracle, Hurd lost his court appeal to keep the letter confidential.
All Things D received the letter, which describes in eight pages of uncomfortable detail some of Hurd and Fisher's interactions. An attorney working for HP also compiled a timeline of emails that describe more of their communications. The publicity and detail are more than a little embarrassing for all involved. Read the full letter. Download the letter.
- Imagine that you own HP stock. How might you feel about this letter becoming public?
- If you were on Oracle's Board of Directors, how would you respond to this news? What, if anything, would you say to Mark Hurd?
- This is a good time to remember that email is always discoverable. What can you do to protect yourself against your emails becoming public?