Mark Hurd at Oracle

That is the big news this morning. Mark Hurd, former CEO of HP who resigned abruptly last month, has landed at Oracle as co-president replacing Charles Phillips.  Larry Ellison publicly defended him and said in a letter to NY Times that this was a big mistake by HP’s board to let Mark Hurd go.

Clearly, Mark joining Oracle is good news for the future of Oracle.  He proved to be a very effective executive at HP over last five years. Under his watch, HP made the largest acquisition (EDS). Mark is operationally a very effective executive and Oracle will benefit greatly from that experience. I think he may be groomed to become Oracle’s CEO when Larry is ready to leave that role. Given Oracle’s move into hardware and storage (besides its traditional software business), an executive like Mark Hurd would be the most appropriate to provide leadership. He will also continue the aggressive acquisition streak of Oracle. Rumor has it that Oracle is likely going to acquire Netezza and may even go after EMC.

Larry has always admired the HP culture and management style, which he has mentioned to me personally during my years with him. Mark Hurd may be the most seasoned executive to take the role in Oracle’s history, given his two previous jobs at NCR and HP. His stint at NCR and Teradata prepares him well for looking at the Data Warehouse and BI business. He was pushing HP more into software during his 5 years. He hired Randy Mott from Walmart as his CIO and together they were pushing for NeoView, a product to compete against Teradata on price-performance.

Leaving behind all the soap opera aspects (scandals et al), Oracle made a great management hire with Mark Hurd.  Wall street is reacting very positively to this news.

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