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Instant View: HP CEO quits after sex harassment probe

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co said Chief Executive Mark Hurd has decided to resign following a sexual harassment investigation.

COMMENTARY

RICK MUNARRIZ, SENIOR ANALYST, THE MOTLEY FOOL

“This is a mind blowing event, obviously orchestrated for a Friday afternoon, end of the market type of thing. The market has a full weekend to digest it and hopefully forget it, which obviously they won’t.

“Mark Hurd was obviously very important to Hewlett-Packard. If you look at Hewlett-Packard pre-Hurd and post-Hurd, they are just completely, entirely different animals. I think this is a big blow for Hewlett-Packard.

“Outside of Steve Jobs at Apple, it’s hard to imagine a CEO that is more important to his company than Mark Hurd to Hewlett-Packard. He did a massive turnaround job.

“As far as financially speaking, it’s still a solid company. This may not impact the company in a noticeable way but it forces the company to choose a new leader at a time when the current leader was obviously doing just fine. That is where uncertainty grows.”

Munarriz expects the company to fill the position internally.

JEFFREY FIDACARO, ANALYST, SUSQUEHANNA FINANCIAL GROUP

“Mark Hurd was extremely instrumental in turning this company around. There’s going to be serious gap in leadership at the top of this company.”

He expects the resignation to overshadow the results announcement. “The focus is clearly going to be on Mark Hurd’s resignation.”

NEHAL CHOKSHI, ANALYST, TECHNOLOGY INSIGHTS RESEARCH-SOUTHRIDGE RESEARCH GROUP

“It’s a negative because the positive leadership that HP has had under Hurd is identified with his name.”

“It’s a short-term negative, they do have a strong management team behind him including Cathie Lesjak. The stock will react negatively but they did put up some pretty good results. But I think this will prove to be a non-issue within one to two quarters of results.

“Obviously with such a big company, $125 billion in revenue, one person alone can’t make it run crisply.”

AARON RAKERS, ANALYST, STIFEL NICOLAUS

“The company’s obviously got a deep bench,” he said, naming former EMC executive David Donatelli as one example.

“There’s obviously going to be some weakness in the stock because of the perception issue.”

Reporting by Sinead Carew and Alex Dobuzinskis, compiled by Tiffany Wu

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