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Aug 16 2010   7:42PM GMT

So why was HP CEO Mark Hurd really fired?

Matt Stansberry Matt Stansberry Profile: Matt Stansberry

Major news outlets from all over are weighing in on what might have really happened between fired HP CEO Mark Hurd, HP’s board, and former actress Jodie Fisher.

The NY Times’ Joe Nocera suspects that HP’s board ousted Hurd because of longtime dislike, and that the sexual harassment charge was a red herring. Nocera interviewed former employees who described Hurd as a cost-cutter who indulged himself, and destroying the “HP way” by chopping R&D significantly.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the HP Board actually fired Hurd for circumventing their investigation of the sexual harassment claims by settling with Fisher.

Silicon Beat’s Chris O’Brien doesn’t buy either of those explanations, and thinks we’re no closer to knowing what the real reason was.

But it had better be a good one:

The HP board got rid of Hurd at one of the most dynamic and challenging times in the industry’s history. As a result of all the mergers and acquisitions by HP and others in recent years, the competitive landscape has completely shifted. HP now finds itself in direct competition with Oracle (thanks to the Sun Microsystems deal) and Cisco Systems (now that HP has gotten into networking via its 3Com acquisition) while at the same time the company is taking on IBM even more directly in the services market (thanks to the EDS deal).

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