Cathie Lesjak is HP's interim CEO as Hurd bows out

Computer maker HP's board has appointed 24-year company insider Cathie Lesjak, chief financial officer, as interim CEO following the abrupt resignation of Mark Hurd yesterday.

Cathie LesjakLesjak, 51, has been HP's CFO and a member of HP's executive council since January 2007. She oversees all company financial matters and will retain her CFO responsibilities during the interim period.

HP had yesterday announced that chairman, CEO and president Mark Hurd had decided, in consulatation with the board of directors, to resign with immediate effect.

Hurd's decision was made following an investigation by outside legal counsel and HP's general counsel's office, overseen by the board, of sexual harassment charge against Hurd and HP by a former HP contractor.

According to the investigation while Hurd had not violated HP's sexual harassment policy, he was in breach of the company's standards of business conduct.

A search committee of the board of directors consisting of Marc L Andreessen, Lawrence T Babbio, Jr, John H Hammergren, and Joel Z Hyatt, will supervise the selection of a new CEO and board chair. HP's lead independent director, Robert Ryan, will continue in that position.

In a company statement Hurd said, ''As the investigation progressed, I realised there were instances in which I did not live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity that I have espoused at HP and which have guided me throughout my career.