Citing executive pay experts who combed over Hurd’s employment agreements, the Financial Times of London reported over the weekend that Hurd’s airtight contract with Hewlett-Packard didn’t include specific circumstances in which the company would fire him “for cause,” which would have enabled it to avoid paying severance.
Hurd will get a severance payment of $12.2 million, according to an H-P filing. He also stands to walk away with more, including the right to sell his vested stock options during the company’s next trading window, which opens Aug. 23 and closes Sept. 7.
Hurd is also entitled to performance-based restricted shares granted to him in January 2008 and time-based restricted shares handed out in December 2009. All told, the package could be worth as much as $40 million, the Financial Times reported.
If Hewlett-Packard’s board attempted to fire Hurd for cause, it could have set up a difficult legal fight over his severance pay.