Oracle hires Mark Hurd as president; Phillips resigns

Sept. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Kim Caughey, an investment analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group Inc., talks about former Hewlett-Packard Co. Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd being named president and a board member of Oracle Corp. Caughey speaks with Erik Schatzker on Bloomberg Television's "InsideTrack." (Source: Bloomberg)
By Aaron Ricadela
Bloomberg News
Monday, September 6, 2010; 9:07 PM

Oracle Corp., the world's second-biggest software company, said former Hewlett-Packard Co. Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd will become a president and member of the board, reporting to CEO Larry Ellison.

The company also said in a statement that Charles Phillips resigned as president and a director. Hurd, who exited HP last month after the company said he violated standards of business conduct, will serve alongside Oracle President Safra Catz.

At HP, Hurd more than tripled profit by cutting costs and expanding beyond the company's core business of computers and printers. He oversaw an acquisition spree of more than $20 billion, letting the company branch out into services, networking equipment and smartphones. Oracle, which also has bulked up through takeovers, would draw on Hurd's background blending software and hardware as it expands into server sales.

"Mark did a brilliant job at HP and I expect he'll do even better at Oracle," Ellison said in the statement. "There is no executive in the IT world with more relevant experience than Mark."

Hurd exited HP after an investigation of a sexual harassment allegation found inaccurate expense reports filed by Hurd or in his name.

Criticized Board

Ellison later upbraided the company's board for letting Hurd go, comparing the move to Apple Inc.'s firing of Steve Jobs in the 1980s. In a letter to the New York Times, Ellison said, "The HP board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago."

Phillips "expressed his desire to transition out of the company" in December, Ellison said in today's statement. He said he asked Phillips to stay on through the integration of Sun Microsystems Inc.

At Oracle, Hurd will work for a CEO who has bought more than 60 companies since early 2005, including Sun for $7.3 billion this year, pushing the software maker into the market for servers -- machines that run websites and corporate networks.

Oracle, based in Redwood City, California, rose 44 cents to $22.92 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading on Sept. 3. The shares have slumped 6.6 percent this year.

© 2010 The Washington Post Company