Hewlett Packard chief executive Mark Hurd said Friday that he is taking over as the company's chairman effective immediately, replacing Patricia Dunn, who was at the center of the company's spying scandal.

Last week HP said Hurd would succeed Dunn as chairman following the company's Jan. 18 board meeting, and that she would remain on the company's board. But now Dunn will leave the board completely.

Pattie’s agreement to step down from the board to ensure that her presence does not serve as a distraction is a testament to her deep commitment to HP’s success and her ability to put the interests of HP before her personal interests, Hurd said in a statement.

In recent days, Hurd has faced increased questions about what he knew of HP's efforts to ferret out a boardroom leak. Emails which surfaced recently suggest Hurd played a bigger role in the surveillance of board directors, journalists and HP employees than previously thought.

A congressional panel also has scheduled a Sept. 28 hearing to grill HP's leaders and lawyers about the company's handling of the probe.