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Hewlett-Packard Picks NCR Executive as CEO

Hurd's Style Contrasts With Fiorina's

By Rachel Konrad
Associated Press
Wednesday, March 30, 2005; Page E05

SAN JOSE, March 29 -- Hewlett-Packard Co. named Mark V. Hurd, the leader of the computer services company NCR Corp., on Tuesday to succeed Carly Fiorina, who was ousted last month as the head of the computer maker.

Hurd, 48, will become chief executive and president at HP. He joined Dayton, Ohio-based NCR in 1980 and spearheaded an ambitious turnaround when he became its chief executive and president in March 2003.

Hewlett-Packard Co. has chosen Mark V. Hurd, who has headed NCR Corp. since 2003, as it's new chief executine. He succeeds Carly Fiorina, above, who was ousted after failing to boost profits following HP's merger with Compaq. (File Photo)

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Hurd is a sharp contrast to Fiorina, a media-savvy marketing specialist who was one of the country's most powerful female executives. She was fired for not quickly slashing costs or boosting profit after HP's ill-fated merger with Compaq Computer Corp. in 2002.

Hurd isn't well-known on Wall Street or in the financial media but enjoys a solid a reputation among business experts as a relentless cost-cutter familiar with nearly every facet of management. He has consistently won praise from NCR board members, who rewarded him with a generous compensation package for his relatively speedy reversal of the company's fortunes.

Since Hurd took over the 28,000-employee company in 2003, NCR's profit jumped to $290 million from $58 million in 2003. Revenue rose 6.8 percent, to $5.98 billion. NCR operates data warehouses that store countless bits of information from corporate customers.

Business experts praised the decision and said Hurd's appointment marked a break with the management style and business strategies of Fiorina, a politically ambitious executive loathed by many HP employees as a management expert devoid of engineering expertise.

"Mark is a complete, 180-degree turnabout from Carly, and very low-key," said Jeffrey Alan Sonnenfeld, associate dean of the Yale School of Management. "He doesn't just do a tour of duty and court the financial press. He rolls up his sleeves and does the dirty work of running a business."

Hurd's ability to clinch multimillion-dollar consulting contracts with large corporations could help HP do the same as it struggles against consulting powerhouse IBM Corp., experts said.

Although his selection wasn't announced until after the market closed, rumors of the choice drove HP shares up $1.99, or 10 percent, to close at $21.78 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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