Ashlee Vance at The New York Times is saying that Mark Hurd is joining Oracle as President and that Charles Phillips has stepped aside. There was no mention of Phillips next move.
"Mark did a brilliant job at HP and I expect he'll do even better at Oracle," said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. "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."
"Mark is an outstanding executive and a proven winner," said Oracle President Safra Catz. "I look forward to working with him for years to come. As Oracle continues to grow we need people experienced in operating a $100 billion business."
"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," said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. "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."
This puts an end to the current round of rumors about Hurd's next move. It leaves open what Phillips will do next and appears to confirm that Safra Catz ain't going nowhere anytime soon.
Simply put, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Hurd somehow winds up at Oracle. Clearly, Ellison is willing to put shareholder value over headline risks. Let’s put the moving parts together.
- Ellison would have a dream team with Hurd, Safra Catz and Charles Phillips.
- Hurd could run Oracle’s hardware business and eliminate the hardware distraction for management.
- Hurd could give Oracle the know-how to become an efficient hardware company and build off of the Sun deal. What would Hurd do with an army of Exadata machines?
- Hurd and Ellison have a mutual nemesis: IBM. If Hurd joins Oracle you can add HP to that list too.
- And Hurd likes to acquire assets almost as much as Ellison. At HP, Hurd orchestrated the purchases of EDS, 3Com and Palm. Oracle hasn’t been shy about saying that Sun was just the beginning of hardware acquisitions.
Add it up and a Hurd to Oracle move makes a lot of sense. Oracle strengthens its management bench and maybe even provides for a little succession planning for Ellison—just in case he wants to completely focus on his yacht in the future. Ellison’s bio seems to indicate that he at least thinks about a little succession planning.
It looks like it's a win-win for the two Larry's. Not bad for a Labor Day's work. Now the post mortems will begin.