Oracle's Hurd for Phillips swap: What's the customer relations impact?

Oracle's Hurd for Phillips swap: What's the customer relations impact?

Summary: Oracle has a new customer relations front man: Former HP CEO Mark Hurd. Oracle's move to name former Hurd as co-president is going to be interesting to watch from a customer relations perspective. Why? Hurd's arrival coincides with the departure of Charles Phillips.

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Oracle has a new customer relations front man: Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd. Oracle's move to name former Hurd as co-president is going to be interesting to watch from a customer relations perspective. Why? Hurd's arrival coincides with the departure of Charles Phillips.

The word that Hurd will land at Oracle is now official. Weekend reports were indicating that Hurd would land at Oracle in a move that was semi-obvious. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said in a statement:

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. Mark pioneered the integration of hardware with software when Teradata was a part of NCR.

For his part, Hurd said that "Oracle's strategy of combining software with hardware will enable Oracle to beat IBM in both enterprise servers and storage." Hurd neglected to mention HP, but he might as well have. Hurd even teased some new Exadata boxes at Oracle Openworld later this month.

Add it up and Hurd's move to Oracle adds up nicely. Hurd knows hardware. He knows how to sell integrated stacks of IT stuff. And he knows how to acquire companies.

However, three co-presidents is too much. Hurd passes Charles Phillips on the way out. Phillips had a nice tandem with co-president Safra Catz. Catz was finance. Phillips was the customer front man you'd see at product launches, ERP deal closings and other key events. Phillips has been credited by analysts for allaying fears of customers who were acquired. After all, someone had to keep Peoplesoft, J.D. Edwards and Siebel customers hanging around.

Phillips, a former Morgan Stanley analyst, was looking to leave the company. Ellison said in another statement:

Charles has evolved our field culture toward a more customer-centric organization and improved our top line consistency through a period of tremendous change and growth. When Charles approached me last December and expressed his desire to transition out of the company, I asked him to stay on through the Sun integration which has gone well. We will miss his talent and leadership, but I respect his decision.

Not all observers will agree that Phillips was great with customers. However, Phillips was a consistent front man. Now Hurd is that front man. It's going to be interesting to watch how Hurd will be received by Oracle customers.

Related:

More: The other reason Hurd got ousted: Discontent among HP rank and file

Topics: IT Employment, CXO, Oracle

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9 comments
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  • Did not Mr. Phillips have an affair, himself

    If memory serves me?
    Is that a requirement at this level of leadership within large corporations?.
    Tim Cook
  • The end result is the same

    It's a bit like getting held up by a mugger wearing an Armani suit. However else you dress it up, the end result is the same.
    terry flores
  • RE: Oracle's Hurd for Phillips swap: What's the customer relations impact?

    large corporations like microsoft,hp, oracle, dell and might i add Intel(atleast in india) have no accountability at all.

    even junior level managers are not accountable...corruption is all pervasive
    bhasinusc@...
  • RE: Oracle's Hurd for Phillips swap: What's the customer relations impact?

    It's sad, very sad. Seeing that one of the reasons why HP fired Hurd was employees satisfaction we can expect that Oracle will become good Executive Search source in next years. In my opinion: Ellison has no clue how to run hardware business, he expects that software sales model can be populated over hardware business, which is totally not true. Hurd assured and made a promise that it's possible (to have same profitability on sw as on hw). And regarding fact that he is far away from being visionary guy he will execute it via cost cutting, building ridiculous sales & support model which will @ the end push customer and employees into IBM/HP/EMC & Co. arms ..
    Dean75
    • HP needs a good database offering ...

      @Dean75 <br><br>Maybe they will pick up some good talent from Oracle as Mark wields his chainsaw?

      I forgot to add: Hurd's contribution to M&A at HP was to beat on price. Robison and his team are the guys behind the scenes picking the plays.
      terry flores
  • RE: Oracle's Hurd for Phillips swap: What's the customer relations impact?

    Oracle employees better grow eyes on the back of their heads. Mark Hurd can not be trusted. He forced hundreds of NCR employees to take "early retirement" with an accompanying reduced pension. Then he sold most of NCR assets to make it look like they were very successful and took huge bonuses. Then he moved to HP where he "had an affair". That's a clean flowery way to say "sexual predator" today. I wouldn't trust him.
    jimrhenow@...
  • RE: Oracle's Hurd for Phillips swap: What's the customer relations impact?

    "Oracle has a new customer relations front man: Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd. Oracle?s move to name former Hurd as co-president is " Former Hurd?

    Why do I have to relogin, to post a comment, when I am already logged in?
    dhays
  • Sleaze for sleaze

    I always felt Oracle was the top sleaze company, and now they have publicly announced just how sleazy they are. If only they would offload Sun to some more reputable corporate owner, then I would be at peace. Until then, neither Oracle nor Sun will be getting any business from me, or anyone else whom I advise.
    bionicbub
  • RE: Oracle's Hurd for Phillips swap: What's the customer relations impact?

    Customer Relations...I have an idea, what Hurd needs to really make this work for him is an assistant for shows and hospitality events, a greeter. Perhaps a consultant will work for him
    don.hark@...