HP CFO Wayman to Retire

CFO Robert Wayman, a 37-year veteran of HP, will step down at the end of the year. His final year with HP was tarred by a boardroom leak investigat...
Stephen TaubDecember 11, 2006

Hewlett-Packard’s chief financial officer, Robert Wayman, said he will retire effective Dec. 31.

He will be succeeded by the company’s treasurer and senior vice president, Cathie Lesjak. Wayman, 61, will retain his board seat until the company’s 2007 annual meeting in March, but will not stand for re-election, the company said.

It also noted that Wayman, who spent 37 years with the company, will remain an HP employee through the end of March “and will be available to ensure a smooth transition.”

Back in September, former HP chairman Patricia Dunn said Wayman approved an investigation into boardroom leaks that has since led to the resignation of Dunn and several other directors and executives.

In planned testimony released ahead of House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearings, Dunn said that she relied on Wayman’s expertise in dealing with board security issues. Specifically, Dunn noted that in early 2005, Wayman, who had been CFO and acting chief executive of HP, referred her to Kevin Huska, the head of global security for HP. “[Wayman] himself, as a director and top executive, was as concerned as anyone about the problem of leaks,” Dunn stated.

Dunn said that in a meeting “near the CFO’s office,” Huska explained that the company dealt day-in and day-out with violations of its standards of business conduct related to unauthorized disclosure of confidential information, and that HP “had experienced resources” to deal with the problem. Huska, in turn, referred Dunn to Ronald DeLia, who was responsible for designing and implementing investigations involving breaches of confidential information on behalf of HP.

Dunn emphasized in her statement that she did not hire the private investigators. Rather, they were already employed by the company.

“It was my assumption that Mr. Wayman, having ultimate authority over all the resources involved in security and investigations, as well as having been one of the directors who felt the most strongly about the importance of controlling leaks from the board, had provided authorization for whatever work was undertaken,” she said in the testimony.

During the protracted question-and-answer session with the committee members that followed her prepared statement, however, Dunn made no mention of Wayman.

Wayman joined HP in 1969 as a cost accountant and held a variety of finance positions before being named CFO in 1984. He served as interim chief executive officer since in February 2005 after Carly Fiorina was fired, until the appointment of Mark Hurd as CEO.

“Bob Wayman is one of the most distinguished CFOs in America, and he will leave behind an outstanding record as a corporate leader, as a finance executive and as a mentor to countless people with whom he has worked during his 37 years at HP,” said Hurd, in a statement. “He has contributed greatly to HP’s success, and I am particularly grateful for the counsel and support he has provided to me.”

The Wall Street Journal reported as early as January that Wayman was planning to retire “in the next few months,” citing people familiar with the matter. The paper noted at the time that Wayman has talked openly in recent years of wanting to retire soon to a house he built in the Hawaiian Islands. However, he delayed those plans after Fiorina was fired and he was named interim CEO.

In her new position, Lesjak will be responsible for the company’s financial operations, including all business unit and corporate controllership, treasury, and tax functions.

Lesjak has served in her current role since 2003, where she is responsible for managing the company’s worldwide cash, debt, foreign exchange, capital structure, risk management, and benefit-plan administration. She joined HP 20 years ago, working in a range of finance, controllership and risk-management roles, including ones with an operational focus at the corporate and business group levels.