Andrew Levander, a partner at the New York office of Dechert, will conduct the independent probe of Mark Hurd’s departure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, a spokesperson has confirmed.
The company’s independent probe will be conducted by Dechert and a committee of directors who joined HP after Hurd left, according to court filings. It will examine the circumstances of Hurd’s departure and the board’s approval of his severance package.
The probe was initiated as part of a shareholder lawsuit filed in federal court in San Jose that alleges HP’s board wasted money by giving Hurd as much as $53 million in severance when he resigned in August. Hurd, now co-president of Oracle Corp., quit after an HP internal investigation found that he tried to conceal a personal relationship with marketing contractor Jodie Fisher.
Levander has handled several high-profile cases in the past. He represented J. Ezra Merkin, who was sued in 2009 by then-New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for his involvement in the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme.
He also represented former Merrill Lynch & Co. chief executive John Thain in 2009 when he testified to Cuomo about giving employees $3.6 billion in bonuses just before it merged with Bank of American Corp.