HP CEO and president, Mark Hurd, has confirmed he approved a probe of HP employees, board members and journalists in an effort to find out who on the HP board was leaking confidential information outside of the company.
However, Hurd said he did not approve the placement of tracing technology in an email to a journalist, and apologised for this and any other "inappropriate" tactics - such as physical surveillance and obtaining phone records under false pretences, known as pretexting - that HP undertook in its investigation to find the source of information leaks.
"I extend my sincere apology to those journalists who were investigated and to everyone who was impacted," Hurd said. "The inappropriate techniques that were applied do not reflect the values of HP. ... These are not indicative of how we conduct business at HP."
Hurd also said he accepted the resignation of Patricia Dunn from her position as chair of the HP board and a director, effective immediately, and thanked her for her eight years of service. Previously, Dunn was to stay on as a director of the board, but would step down as chair in January. Hurd now takes on the role of chairman.
Hurd said HP had the best intentions when it began the first of two phases of a probe into boardroom leaks, but said it "turned in a direction we could not have anticipated" and he took full accountability for what transpired.
"I take this very seriously and commit to getting to the bottom of this," he said. "Our job is to fix this and get back to the job of running the business."