September 26, 2006 2:39 PM PDT
Two HP employees depart amid leak probe
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CNET News.com reported on Friday that investigator Tony Gentilucci and senior counsel Kevin Hunsaker were in the process of leaving the company, according to a source. HP is now confirming that the two have left the computer maker.
Hunsaker left HP, effective Tuesday, a company representative said. The representative couldn't say whether Hunsaker resigned or was terminated. Gentilucci has resigned, effective Tuesday, the representative said.
At a press conference on Friday, HP's outside lawyer said Hunsaker supervised the second phase of HP's leak probe, which included physical surveillance of a reporter and a director, as well as a bogus e-mail tip and unauthorized access of phone records. The lawyer, Mike Holston of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, also said that Gentilucci provided the Social Security number of an HP employee to outside investigators for the purpose of obtaining his or her telephone records.
Both men have been subpoenaed to appear at a congressional hearing that takes place on Thursday. Also scheduled to testify are HP CEO Mark Hurd and former Chairman Patricia Dunn, who stepped down from HP's board on Friday. General Counsel Ann Baskins, who HP lawyers said received e-mail updates on the investigation, remains in her post, an HP representative said on Tuesday.
The company has said that as part of its effort to determine the source behind unauthorized releases of information to the press, outside investigators working for HP obtained the telephone records of more than a dozen people using false pretenses, a practice known as pretexting. Among those targeted were several board members, nine journalists, two employees and an unspecified number of others.
Separately, a group of large public pension funds said on Tuesday that they have filed a proposal aiming to allow shareholder-nominated candidates to run for HP's board alongside company-nominated candidates. In a statement, the pension funds said they "are concerned with the board's handling of an investigation into an information leak and its potential negative impact on shareholder value."
The funds, which collectively own more than 30 million HP shares, include the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, the New York State Common Retirement Fund, the North Carolina Retirement Systems and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Pension Funds.
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