HP Scandal Part 2: Mark Hurd and the Porn Star “Marketing Consultant”

UPDATE: January 3, 2012: The June 2010 letter to Mark Hurd from Jodie Fisher’s attorney (Gloria Allred) detailing Fisher’s allegations of sexual harassment against Hurd was made public December 31, 2011 after a federal judge ruled the letter would not violate Hurd’s privacy rights. Hurd joined Oracle September 6, 2010 as president.

The news about disgraced former HP Chairman and CEO Mark Hurd is worse than we were led to believe when the scandal broke August 6, 2010 and it raises questions about why HP’s board didn’t fire him for cause rather than agree to a large severance package.

Hurd was forced to resign for violating HP’s Standards of Business Practice. As was covered in a previous column, HP’s board was notified that Hurd was being sued for sexual harassment by a marketing consultant he’d hired. The board launched an investigation which did not find evidence to support the sexual harassment claim, but did find Hurd had a conflict of interest with the consultant that he didn’t disclose; in addition, HP said he misused company assets and failed to maintain accurate expense reports in his dealings with the consultant.

On August 8, 2010, the marketing consultant came forward to reveal her identity. She is actress Jodie Fisher, who has worked in soft porn movies and real estate, but – notably – not marketing.

As is to be expected, the instantaneous resources of the internet have made available a photo and video gallery of Fisher’s sex kitten career in movies and TV, a career that could hardly have been unknown to Hurd when he hired her. Her role for him apparently was to make introductions at “CEO Summits” in various parts of the world; Hurd would speak and then the two of them would have dinner afterward.

It also became known August 8 that Hurd had settled the lawsuit with Fisher on Thursday, August 5, the day before he resigned. Fisher has said that there was no sexual relationship. So it is unclear on what grounds she sued or Hurd settled. Her two-year contract with the CEO’s office had ended in 2009.

Whatever his motives for engaging Fisher, they apparently had nothing to do with seeing the potential risks to HP or safeguarding shareholder interest or company reputation. HP stock fell 10 percent August 6 after news of his departure from HP became public, which represented a loss of billions of dollars to shareholders. Hurd has created a distraction for HP they can ill afford. The company said August 8 they were no longer going to comment publicly on him.

Hurd’s legacy of turnaround prowess is now mired in self-sabotage, a reputation squandered.

Gael O’Brien, August 8, 2010

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4 Comments on “HP Scandal Part 2: Mark Hurd and the Porn Star “Marketing Consultant””


  1. Hurd acted stupidly; most of all for the false $20,000 in expenses he had claimed. For sure, he could have afforded to pay this out of his own pocket. He pays her a nice settlement and then both parties claim there never was a sexual relationship. Hmm, why would she lodge a sexual harassment claim against him then? It’s all rather flaky and we know they are not telling the truth.

    I’m rather appalled that HP’s Marketing Dept hired aging sex-kittens like Jodie Fisher to introduce executives to each other during HP conferences. Seems in poor taste and I had assumed was a classier company than that.

    http://www.wordsfromawoman.wordpress.com

    • Gael O'Brien Says:

      Thanks for your comment. It appears that she was hired by the CEO’s office, so if that is the case then the Marketing Dept. was taken out of the loop. You are right; this is a bizarre tale that doesn’t yet add up.


  2. […] a marketing consultant, which apparently is a much broader concept than I had been aware of before. Her article adds new details to the […]


  3. […] over further revelations of what he’d shared in his “close, personal  relationship” with Jodie Fisher, a porn star he’d hired as a marketing consultant. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) learned that in addition to a […]


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