Their bond grew more complicated when Holston was tasked with investigating Hurd's behavior after an HP contractor alleged that Hurd had sexually harassed her. When Hurd resigned, Holston denounced his behavior as reflecting a "profound lack of judgment," though the company did not find evidence of sexual harassment. "I think the writing was pretty much on the wall for him after that," a former HP lawyer says. "He was standing there like a federal prosecutor who had gotten his man."
Holston left shortly after Meg Whitman was named CEO in September 2011. But Whitman reassured in-house lawyers that she was pleased with their performance and wanted the department to stay the course, a source at HP says. She may have found the right man in Schultz, who worked with Holston at Drinker Biddle & Reath; Morgan Lewis; and, finally, HP.
To rally the legal department, he needs to remind his charges of the company's proud history, Cooperman advises. "The quality of the department, and its role in shaping HP, are things that need to be emphasized," he says, "so lawyers really feel that pride."