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4 HP directors step down

By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Hewlett-Packard announced a major board of directors shuffle Thursday, with four members stepping down and five new directors joining the board.

The move comes in the wake of intense criticism and several shareholder lawsuits over how HP (HPQ, Fortune 500) dismissed former CEO Mark Hurd.

Incumbent directors Joel Hyatt, John Joyce, Robert Ryan and Lucille Salhany will step down, and five new members will take their places on Friday, bringing the total number of board members to 13.

The five incoming members of HP's board are: Shumeet Banerji, CEO of Booz & Company; Gary Reiner, formerly of General Electric (GE, Fortune 500); Patricia Russo, former CEO of Alcatel-Lucent (ALU); Dominique Senequier, CEO of AXA Private Equity; and Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay (EBAY, Fortune 500).

In an interview with CNBC immediately following the announcement, HP chairman Ray Lane insisted the shakeup was unrelated to Hurd's exit.

The long and winding Hurd scandal: Hurd resigned abruptly in August, sending shock waves through the industry. HP executives said Hurd, who is married, failed to tell the board about a "personal relationship" with Jodie Fisher, an actress who was working as a marketing contractor for the company.

Fisher later came forward and said there had been no sexual relationship, but the HP board said that Hurd violated the company's code of ethics by filing inaccurate expense account reports in an attempt to keep the relationship secret.

When Hurd left HP, he received $12 million in cash as severance and kept a large part of his stock and options.

In early September, Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500) announced that it had hired Hurd as co-president and a member of the board of directors.

The drama continued with HP's unexpected hiring of Leo Apotheker, the former CEO of business software firm SAP, who took Hurd's place at at the helm of HP in the beginning of October.

Apotheker is the only HP employee who sits on the company's board.  To top of page

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