HP chairman Patricia Dunn will resign in January and be replaced by CEO Mark Hurd, the company has announced.

The announcement follows a two-day silence from the HP board in the aftermath of the spying scandal that threatens to become a criminal matter. HP's board met on Sunday for several hours and again yesterday.

It would appear that Dunn did not have sufficient support from other directors to stay on. She had previously said she would not resign unless asked to by the board. At issue is whether Dunn instigated her own investigation into board-level leakages. Following a series of board-level leaks, Dunn ordered two separate investigations into who was providing the media with confidential information.

The second uncovered that director George Keyworth was responsible, however the investigation itself may have broken the law by accessing the phone accounts of both board directors and no less than nine reporters. If Dunn is found to have known about the methods used - something she denies - she may face criminal charges.

Mark Hurd is the architect and focus of HP's recent recovery. This has included the recent launch of the Integrity servers. In a recent memo to HP employees about the pretexting saga Hurd wrote: "We conduct our business with uncompromising integrity."

Now HP's board, with the company's reputation on the line, is aiming to restore the company's own integrity by putting Hurd in overall charge. At least HP appears to have been able to shake off its staid image, first with the ousting of Carly Fiorina and now with a ruthless investigation into both its own board and the media.