For Hewlett-Packard Co. general counsel Michael Holston the nightmare began when CEO Mark Hurd handed him a June 29 letter accusing Hurd of sexual harassment. Hurd took the letter to Holston, reportedly within a half hour of receiving it.

The nightmare mostly ended last Friday when Hurd gave Holston a signed, nine-page “separation agreement” ending the CEO’s five-year reign at the company. That’s when HP announced to the press that Hurd was stepping down.

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