TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Bill Radke: Hewlett-Packard is trying to reassure investors that’s it’s still the same company, even without CEO Mark Hurd. Hurd resigned Friday after a scandal involving allegations of sexual harassment. Analysts pointed out the company doesn’t need a management search right now while it’s in a tough technology fight with the likes of Apple, and HP stock lost 10 percent in after-market trading on Friday. Marketplace’s Jeff Horwich joins us live with an update on Hewlett-Packard. Good morning, Jeff.
Jeff Horwich: Hi, Bill.
Radke: So it’s a new week, and HP has a new CEO. Who is Catherine Lesjak?
Horwich: Lesjak was HP’s Chief Financial Officer — still is, as a matter of fact. She’s taking on the CEO job on an interim basis. As the CFO, she’s got kind of a real green-eyeshades kind of reputation, which is what Hurd was known for — being a numbers guy. And over the weekend, Lesjak’s been reaching out to reporters and financial analysts, trying to reinforce that Mark Hurd “was only one person,” HP “isn’t going to slow down one bit” — those are her words.
Radke: And how did she find herself having to take over?
Horwich: A woman HP hired as kind of an event coordinator accused Mark Hurd of sexual harassment. The company investigated and it didn’t find harassment, but it did find that Hurd had doctored expense reports for dinners with this woman. The HP board called it a “profound lack of judgment.”
Radke: And Jeff, what is the risk to Hewlett Packard here?
Horwich: Hurd had a solid reputation as a kind of boring but effective guy who really stabilized HP. On his watch, they became the world’s top computer-maker, passed up Dell. But HP had already projected slower growth. And now they’ve got a CEO search on their hands. The interim CEO, Lesjak, says she’s not interested. But there are a number of company insiders who could very well take off if they don’t get that top job.
Radke: OK, Marketplace’s Jeff Horwich, thanks Jeff.
Horwich: You’re welcome.
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