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Hewlett boss quits after sex probe

Hewlett Packard chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Hurd is stepping down following a sexual harassment probe that found other violations of company standards.

HP said that Mr Hurd decided to leave after the investigation into a sexual harassment claim made against him and the company by a former HP contractor.

The investigation concluded that the company's sexual harassment policy was not violated, but that its standards of business conduct were.

In a statement, Mr Hurd said that during the investigation he "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."

He added that he believed it would be "difficult to continue as an effective leader at HP."

Mr Hurd and Robert Ryan, HP's lead independent board member, stressed that his departure has nothing to do with the company's financial health.

The technology company named Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Cathie Lesjak as its interim CEO.

HP says a board committee will search for a new CEO.

Ms Lesjak, who has been at HP for 24 years, will continue to act as CFO. She decided not to be considered for the position of permanent CEO, the company said.

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