December 11, 2006 7:41 AM PST

HP finance veteran to step down at year's end

Longtime Hewlett-Packard financial chief Robert Wayman plans to step down at the end of 2006 after more than 37 years with the company.

Robert Wayman Robert Wayman

Wayman, who plans to remain an HP employee and board member until formally retiring next March, has served as chief financial officer since 1984.

Cathie Lesjak, 47, now a senior vice president and company treasurer, is slated to take over the CFO role, effective December 31. In her 20-year career with HP, she has held posts related to finance and risk management in various HP units.

First hired as a cost accountant in 1969, Wayman filled a number of finance-centric positions before ascending to the executive ranks. He also enjoyed a two-month stint--and reportedly a handsome bonus--as interim chief executive in 2005 after then-CEO Carly Fiorina resigned and before Mark Hurd was selected as her permanent replacement.

The news of Wayman's retirement comes just days after HP announced that Dick Lampman, a veteran employee who most recently headed its HP Labs research unit, would also retire in 2007.

The announcement also comes on the heels of a $14.5 million settlement between HP and California Attorney General Bill Lockyer related to charges stemming from an ongoing spying scandal. HP revealed this summer that its investigators used false pretenses, or pretexting, to obtain the phone records of more than a dozen people, including journalists, board members and employees, in an effort to pinpoint the source of boardroom leaks.

In congressional testimony about the situation, former HP Chairwoman Patricia Dunn said she had approached then-interim CEO Wayman for advice about how to conduct the investigation. A company representative promptly issued a statement asserting that Wayman "had no involvement whatsoever" in the probe.

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