After stepping down from the top position at HP in what many consider to be an unfair ousting, Mark Hurd has accepted a new position as co-president of fellow computer services firm Oracle. Oracle is an enterprise software company that has been partners with HP for years but is beginning to compete with it in the market of back-end computer server systems. During his tenure at HP, Mark Hurd gained a very strong connection with Oracle and its executive staff.
Hurd was forced out of HP last month. A female colleague came forward with allegations of sexual harassment against the CEO. As part of that investigation, some discrepancies were noticed with a number of Hurd's expense reports. There was nothing glaringly obscene among these discrepancies, but combined with the harassment allegations, HP faced mounting pressure to get rid of its top employee. It would later be revealed that the sexual harassment claims were entirely unsubstantiated but by that point it was too late.
Many tech executives came forward in support of Hurd, calling the move to get rid of him a mistake. No one was more supportive than Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. He called the decision the biggest mistake in the industry since Steve Jobs was ousted from Apple in the 1980s.
"Mark did a brilliant job at HP and I expect he'll do even better at Oracle. There is no executive in the IT world with more relevant experience than Mark. Oracle's future is engineering complete and integrated hardware and software systems for the enterprise," said Ellison in a statement following the recent announcement.
Hurd had been heralded as one of the strongest CEOs in the company's decades-long history. His lean approach to management saved HP millions of dollars and . He also managed to bring faith back to HP after a prior investigation involving top-level executives spying on technology reporters.
Don't feel too bad for the guy, though. In addition to now getting what is probably a seven-figure salary at Oracle, he reportedly received as much as $50 million in severance for leaving HP.