(September 13, 2006)—Mark Hurd, the 1979 Baylor University graduate who was named chairman of Hewlett-Packard Tuesday, prepares to take over as the threat of criminal charges is being raised in connection with the company’s reaction to media leaks.
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer says there is sufficient evidence to indict people both inside and outside the technology giant.
The outsiders are said to include contractors who were working for H-P.
Lockyer's comment came hours after word that Chairwoman Patricia Dunn plans to step down in January, and another director who says he was a source of leaks resigned from the board.
Hurd, the company’s CEO and president, will succeed her, while retaining his current positions.
Dunn will stay on as a director.
Investigations are now occurring at the state and federal levels.
Private investigators hired by the company are believed to have used Social Security numbers to impersonate H-P directors and journalists, and then persuaded phone companies to turn over detailed logs of their home phone calls.
At least nine journalists were caught up in the search for the source of the leak, according to published reports.
The practice known as "pretexting" is commonly used by private investigators but is against the law, according to Lockyer.
Hurd earned a bachelor’s degree in administration from Baylor in 1979. He was the number one player on the university’s tennis team.