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Ex-HP CEO Hurd fights to keep letter confidential

Wed, 12/29/2010 - 6:56am
Hewlett-Packard Co's former chief executive, Mark Hurd, asked to intervene in a Delaware shareholder lawsuit as he tries to keep private a letter tied to his abrupt departure.

In court documents filed on Tuesday, Hurd asked to become a party to a lawsuit brought by a shareholder against Hewlett-Packard for the narrow purpose of keeping under wraps a letter sent to him. Both the shareholder and the company have said they do not believe the letter should be considered confidential.

Hurd, who has since joined Oracle as president, resigned suddenly from Hewlett-Packard in August, stunning investors and sparking an investigation by regulators.

The letter at the center of the Delaware Chancery Court fight was sent by attorney Gloria Allred on behalf of Jodie Fisher, a contractor for Hewlett Packard.

Allred was attempting to mediate a dispute between Hurd and Fisher, who has said the letter in dispute contained "many inaccuracies," according to court documents.

Fisher sparked an investigation that eventually led to Hurd's departure.

The shareholder lawsuit was brought by Ernesto Espinoza, who sued the company to inspect its books.

Attorneys for Hurd did not immediately return a call for comment. Officials with Oracle and HP declined comment.

The case is Ernesto Espinoza v Hewlett Packard Co, Delaware Chancery Court, No. 6000.

(Reporting by Tom Hals and Jim Finkle in Boston; Editing by Gary Hill)

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