HP settles charges with SEC over disclosure

US tech giant Hewlett-Packard has reached a settlement with US regulators for failing to disclose the reasons for a director’s sudden resignation amid a company probe of boardroom leaks.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the company said late on Wednesday that administrative charges against the computer-maker were settled.

HP said that no monetary or other penalties were lodged as a part of the settlement but that it agreed, without admitting or denying fault, to abide by SEC rules about disclosure of key information.

The case related to the resignation of former HP director Tom Perkins from the computer giant’s board of directors in May 2006.

Perkins had objected to how HP was conducting a probe into leaks of confidential information about the company’s board meetings to the press. He resigned following his disagreements with other executives.

The SEC said HP had failed to disclose the reasons for Perkins resignation as required by federal securities laws.

The case sparked controversy last year after it emerged that investigators hired by HP had spied on employees and news reporters in a bid to track down the source of the leaks.

A separate probe by the California attorney general into the affair is still ongoing.

Patricia Dunn, a former HP chairwoman, was forced to resign after government investigators found that private detectives hired by HP had impersonated reporters, employees and board members to find out who was leaking inside information to the press.

The HP probe concluded that one of the company’s directors, not Perkins, was responsible for the leaks and the board voted to ask the director to resign.

AFP

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HP settles charges with SEC over disclosure