Porn star takes centre stage in the ousting of HP boss Mark Hurd

 
Steve Dinneen
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A glamorous former porn star set in motion the chain of events that last week ended with the downfall of one of America’s most powerful chief executives.

HP boss Mark Hurd, 53, was forced to resign after it was found $20,000 (£12,500) of expense claims in his name were inaccurate.

It then emerged the married tech boss had been desperate to conceal his relationship with the saucy star of movies including Sheer Passion, Intimate Obsession and Body of Influence 2.

Jodie Fisher, 50, had been employed at HP from 2007-2009 to meet and greet clients of the world’s biggest computer manufacturer.

The saga reached fever pitch when Fisher, who has also worked as a saleswoman and a marketing executive, filed a sexual harassment claim against Hurd in June. HP found no evidence of sexual harassment but uncovered the expense claims, which included payments to Fisher that did not correspond with work she carried out. There were also claims for meals and travel that were not accounted for. Hurd, who was hired to help clean up the firm’s reputation, denies dishonesty, claiming the expenses were legitimate and errors were accidental.

Investors baulked at the fallout of the sleazy affair, with HP’s share-price tumbling more than seven per cent on news of his departure.

Fisher, who denies having a sexual relationship with Hurd, said she was “surprised and saddened” that Hurd had lost his job.

In a statement released through celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred she said: “I have resolved my claim with Mark privately, without litigation, and I do not intend to comment on it further. I wish Mark, his family and HP the best.”

Chief financial officer Cathie Lesjak has been drafted in as interim chief executive, while the group is looking internally and externally for a full-time replacement.

TIME LINE | THE DEMISE OF HP BOSS MARK HURD

2007
Former soft-porn star Jodie Fisher is given a job meeting and greeting clients of the world’s biggest computer manufacturer.

2009
Fisher leaves the firm.

June 2010
Fisher files a sexual harassment claim against HP chief executive Mark Hurt.

Friday 6 August
Hurd resigns over claims he filed $20,000 (£12,500) worth of inaccurate expenses.

Sunday 8 August
Fisher emerges as the cause of the investigation but says she has settled her issues without litigation.