Oracle hires Mark Hurd; Ellison goes for the jugular of H.P.


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Earlier today, Oracle Corp. named Mark Hurd co-president and appointed him to its board of directors, heightening the rivalry between the software company and Hewlett-Packard Co., the technology giant Mr. Hurd ran as chief executive until departing amid a scandal last month. 

Larry Ellison and Mark Hurd are close friends. While Oracle and H.P. have been partners in the past, Oracle’s recent acquisition of Sun Microsystems will force the two firms to become rivals. Ellison probably views the hire as a win-win. First he gets a trusted and extremely competent senior executive who knows H.P. better than anyone; and second, he gets to stick a finger in the eye of the H.P. board – the first skirmish of many to follow. Hurd knows that Elison is God at Oracle. I’m sure he’s not going to challenge Ellison for that role; rather, Hurd will be quite content to be Ellison’s field general in their war with H.P.

If I were an Oracle employee, I’d be thrilled to get such a valuable defection. It shows that Oracle and Larry Ellison are committed to battling H.P. in the computer hardware business.

Just days after Hurd’s departure, Ellison sent a very public e-mail message to The New York Times chiding H.P.’s board. Pure “Ellison” in its content:

“The H.P. board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago. That decision nearly destroyed Apple and would have if Steve hadn’t come back and saved them.”

Strap on your seat-belts, it’s going to be a wild ride for the next few years as the Oracle / H.P. war heats up.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Patrick Lefler
Patrick Lefler is the founder of The Spruance Group -- a management consultancy that helps growing companies grow faster by providing unique value at the product level: specifically product marketing, pricing, and innovation. He is a former Marine Corps officer; a graduate of both Annapolis and The Wharton School, and has over twenty years of industry expertise.


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