Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd may have known early on the company was seeking telephone records as part of its controversial probe of boardroom leaks to the media.
According to a memo prepared by HP’s outside lawyers investigating the bungled leaks probe, Hurd remembered a meeting, “probably” on July 25, 2005, where there was talk of obtaining telephone records.
“Hurd recalled that during one meeting…somebody mentioned obtaining phone record information off of the Web,” the memo states. “Hurd remembered thinking that there must be a website with such information.”
The memo, prepared by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, was part of 700 pages of documents released Monday by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Last week, the panel held a day-long hearing on HP’s handling of its internal investigation. HP admits pretexting was used to obtain the personal phone records of board members and journalists.
At the hearing, Hurd said he attended the July 2005 meeting focused on the investigation, but didn’t recall the use of phone records or pretexting being discussed.
In another Wilson Sonsini memo released by the panel, Boston-area private investigator Ron DeLia, who handled the groundwork of the probe, said Hurd was at the July 2005 meeting where results of “telephone research” were discussed with HP executives.
While DeLia said he didn’t see Hurd for the first few minutes of the meeting, the investigator explained he used “pretexting” to obtain the records.
According the Wilson Sonsini interview of Hurd, he recalled leaving the meeting in the last 15 minutes.
“We believe the documents, Mark’s witness interview memo and his testimony provide a complete and accurate picture of his knowledge of the investigation,” HP spokesperson Mike Moeller told internetnews.com.
At last week’s hearings both former Chairman Patricia Dunn and Hurd tried to distance themselves from the internal probe, which has attracted the attention of federal and state investigators.
In a May 24 final report on the investigation, HP’s then-director of ethics, Kevin Hunsaker, wrote the computer maker “engineered and executed a covert intelligence gathering operation.”
The investigation included obtaining employee and reporter phone records, conducting video surveillance and determining the time and length of calls made from former board member George Keyworth’s home and cell phones in New Mexico
Although the report was sent to Hurd, Dunn and the HP board, Moeller refused to say whether the HP CEO read the findings.