The biggest story of the year centered on the biggest IT company in the world, Hewlett-Packard. HP took the channel by surprise on what was turning out to be a lazy summer afternoon when it disclosed on August 6 that chairman, president and CEO Mark Hurd had resigned in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal. Even more surprising was that HP’s internal investigation had actually cleared Hurd (shown) of the harassment claims, yet the company still pushed him out after finding he had violated HP’s code of conduct. Channel partners were by-and-large disappointed by the move since Hurd had made a point of supporting the channel and personally meeting with as many solution providers as he could. Their disappointment turned to puzzlement a few weeks later when HP named a relative unknown -- Leo Apotheker, former CEO of SAP -- to replace him as president and CEO. And then turned to a bit of jealousy when Hurd landed safely at Oracle.