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Walking Papers – 08.10.2010The booting of Hewlett Packard’s CEO Mark Hurd has been front page news since the announcement last week. It was a significant story on a number of fronts. First, Hurd was a star by most performance measures, and a favorite of investors. HP was a mess when he arrived, and a market leader on his departure. He did a brilliant job of turning around an ailing technology company, transforming it into a Wall Street darling. However, the board had a tough call to make, and as the facts came to light, it was apparently clear that his indiscretions were serious enough to compel the board to give Hurd his walking papers. It’s tough to fire a CEO, particularly a star, but it is the responsibility of the board, especially in light of questionable activities and serious lapses in his judgment, to make a change. However, don’t feel too badly for Mark Hurd, he departed with a $35-million severance package.

Tony LoPinto is a senior client partner and head of Korn//Ferry International’s Real Estate Practice and founder of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.

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