Patricia Dunn, the former Hewlett-Packard chairman facing four felony counts for her role in a spying scandal at the world’s second-biggest computer maker, on Friday resigned from the board of Barclays Global Investors.

The departure of Ms Dunn, who rose from part-time secretary to chief executive of the unit of Barclays Bank, came a day after she appeared in a California courtroom to face charges including fraud, identity theft, and conspiracy, for her role in a controversial boardroom leak investigation at HP.

In a statement, BGI thanked Ms Dunn for her service. “Pattie has made an enormous contribution to the success of BGI, and has been a highly positive influence on so many in the industry,” said Blake Grossman, chief executive. “Her dedication to BGI and its commitment to excellence have been a hallmark of her time here and will be missed.”

Ms Dunn, who joined the company in 1986 when it was still known as Wells Fargo Investment Advisors, said working at the company had been a “wonderful privilege”.

Ms Dunn’s resignation marked the second time she had left the company that launched the career that turned her into one of the most powerful women in business. In 2002, she resigned as chief executive of BGI to fight breast cancer and melanoma.

Ms Dunn and others involved in the HP mole hunt came under criminal investigation last month after the company said private detectives working to uncover the source of the leaks had posed as board members, journalists and family members to obtain private telephone records.

She was later forced to resign from the HP board amid revelations that the company’s tactics went far beyond telephone records to include physical surveillance and other undercover operations. Ms Dunn has steadfastly denied any wrong-doing.

Kevin Hunsaker, a former senior HP lawyer who was part of the investigation team, also appeared in court on Thursday. Michael Pancer, Mr Hunsaker’s lawyer, said his client was innocent and would not seek a plea deal.

“Neither Kevin Hunsaker nor HP ever authorised, encouraged, or knew of any unlawful activity,” he said.

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