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Dunn resigns; Hurd tells HP's take on snooping

HP received its second resignation in as many years from a chairman of its board today, when Patricia Dunn quit the board after she admitted to launching HP's "pretexting" investigation of directors, journalists, employees and families. Dunn was to retain her board seat but give up the chair by January, 2007.

The last HP chairman to resign, Carly Fiorina, was included among the targets investigated by an outside firm which HP hired to snoop. HP's new chairman, CEO Mark Hurd, gave an 8-minute statement today of HP's facts in the matter, although Hurd admitted the full details of the snooping might never be known.

HP declined to let journalists ask questions at the press conference, conducted just after the stock markets closed Friday. HP cited Hurd's forthcoming testimony before the US Congress, set for Sept. 29, as reason to forestall questions from reporters.

Hurd reiterated that the actions of the investigation have nothing to do with HP's operations or business strategy, "or frankly, the vast majority of the people at HP." He offered an apology to the journalists and others whose privacy was violated by HP's hired investigators. HP also named a handful of employees who were briefed fully on the tactics involved.

Until October 6, an audio replay of Hurd's statements — as well as a discourse from an outside law firm he hired to investigate, starting Sept. 8 — is available online. Windows Media Player is required to listen.