Follow all the coverage of Hewlett-Packard’s boardroom spying scandal � and the continuing legal fallout.
“We are pleased to settle this matter with the attorney general and are committed to ensuring that HP regains its standing as a global leader in corporate ethics and responsibility,” Mark Hurd, company chairman and chief executive officer, said in a press release.
Hewlett-Packard’s troubles began last year when Dunn launched an investigation to find out who was leaking information to the media about company plans. State attorneys say company-hired investigators posed as reporters and HP officers, sometimes using Social Security numbers provided by HP, to secure personal call records.
When details of the investigation became public this year, Congress summoned company executives and others to appear at what would become a tense hearing. While documents and public comments suggest Hurd and former General Counsel Ann Baskins knew about some aspects of the investigation, neither one has been charged criminally.
Under terms of Thursday’s settlement, Hewlett-Packard agreed to appoint an “independent” director � specifically, new board member G. Kennedy Thompson � to track future company investigations and report any wrongdoing to the attorney general. The company will also “enhance” its employee and board member training on investigations, business ethics and the hiring of outside counsel.
Prosecutors will be allowed to spend up to $1 million annually from the new $13.5 million Privacy and Piracy Fund. Half of the yearly allotment will go to district attorneys’ investigations.