HP General Counsel Quits

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Another top Hewlett-Packard Co. executive will leave the company, with HP's announcement on Thursday that its general counsel, Ann Baskins, has resigned, effective immediately.

It is unclear how closely involved Baskins, who worked for HP for 24 years, was in the internal investigation scandal plaguing HP. The company is being investigated for potentially using illegally methods in its hunt to uncover an internal source leaking information to the press.

Baskin Worked With Private Investigators

In a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, HP notes that Baskins participated in meetings with private investigators where they discussed pretexting, a method of obtaining confidential records under false pretenses. One such discussion took place in a telephone conference on June 15, 2005, in the early phase of the investigations.

HP has acknowledged using pretexting, a potentially illegal practice, in its investigation.

In a statement announcing Baskins' resignation, Mark Hurd, HP's chairman and chief executive, commended Baskins for her hard work and said that she has put the interests of HP above her own by stepping down.

In another filing HP made to the SEC on Thursday, the company said it agreed to pay for expenses Baskins may incur related to lawsuits and investigations and that Baskins had agreed to cooperate with HP in connection with investigations regarding the company.

Background

HP's chairman of the board has already resigned and other top executives including a senior counsel and the global security manager have left the company since the scandal erupted.

Baskins is among many top officials at HP that a U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee has subpoenaed, requiring them to testify as part of the committee's investigation Thursday.

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