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HP Chairwoman resigns in phone snoop scandal

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San Francisco (dpa) - Hewlett-Packard chairwoman Patricia Dunn is stepping down because of a scandal over snooping into directors' and journalists' phone records, the company said Tuesday.

Her position will be assumed by CEO Mark Hurd, who will retain his existing positions as chief executive and president. Dunn will remain with the company as a director.

Dunn's resignation was prompted by a probe she ordered into the phone records of other directors and journalists in an effort to find out who was leaking details from company board meetings.

As part of the effort, private investigators impersonated board members and journalists to acquire their phone records, a practice known as "pre-texting". The FBI, the U.S. Attorney for Northern California and the House Energy and Commerce Committee are all investigating the scandal.

"I am taking action to ensure that inappropriate investigative techniques will not be employed again. They have no place in HP," Hurd said in a statement.

Dunn apologized for the investigation techniques.

"Unfortunately, the investigation, which was conducted with third parties, included certain inappropriate techniques. These went beyond what we understood them to be, and I apologize that they were employed," Dunn said.

Copyright 2006 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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