Ex-HP CEO Hurd hired as Oracle president

Mark Hurd, HP's former CEO, is to be Oracle's new co-president and join the company's board of directors. He replaces Charles Phillips, who has resigned
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

Oracle has announced that former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Mark Hurd is joining the company as president, replacing Charles Phillips, who has resigned.

Hurd will report directly to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and will work alongside the company's other president, Safra Catz, the database giant said on Monday. In addition, Hurd will take up Phillips's seat on the Oracle board, which the outgoing president has given up on his departure.

In August, Hurd unexpectedly left HP after the company conducted an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against him. His former employer concluded that while there had been no breach of the company's sexual harassment policy, it did find violations of its standards of business conduct.

Hurd took over leadership of HP after the company ousted Carly Fiorina, who struggled to make good the integration of Compaq and HP. He is credited with steadying the company and ushering in a period of steady growth, though this came at the cost of extensive job losses.

"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," Ellison said, quoted in Oracle's statement.

At the time of Hurd's departure from HP, Ellison expressed surprise at the decision and reportedly wrote an "impassioned" email to The New York Times.

"The HP board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago. In losing Mark Hurd, the HP board failed to act in the best interest of HP's employees, shareholders, customers and partners," Ellison said in the email.

Oracle revealed the resignation of Phillips in a separate announcement on Monday. The executive joined the database specialist in 2003, a year before he was made president.

Ellison said that Phillips had approached him in December regarding his departure, but deferred it after the CEO asked Phillips to stay on until the Sun integration had been completed.

"Charles has evolved our field culture toward a more customer-centric organisation and improved our top-line consistency through a period of tremendous change and growth... We will miss his talent and leadership, but I respect his decision," Ellison said in the announcement.

In January, Phillips acknowledged that he had been involved in a lengthy extramarital relationship after the publication of personal photos, advertised via billboards near Times Square in New York.

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