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Hurd Goes To Work for Oracle

The statement hints that Hurd's real purview will be Sun

In a breathtakingly unprecedented move never before seen in the Valley, Oracle very late Monday - and on a national holiday in the US - swapped the ex-Morgan Stanley guy who was supposed to be responsible for its blazing trail of acquisitions for ex-HP CEO Mark Hurd, a month to the day since Hurd was ousted by the HP board for reasons that are still incomprehensible to everyone outside of the HP boardroom, an event that has led to speculation that HP was somehow played.

Anyway, it's safe to say that the ex-CEO of a major OEM has never skipped to a competitor before - or so quickly - or trailing sexual harassment charges, however bogus. Ain't life grand.

According to the official statement out of Oracle Hurd will be an Oracle co-president, reporting to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, and a member of the Oracle board. He will be responsible for Oracle's sales, marketing and support.

Safra Katz, who has been running Oracle for years, remains co-president with operational responsibilities.

In a press release Katz was given to say that "Mark is an outstanding executive and a proven winner. 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."

Ellison, who was quick to defend Hurd publicly after he was forced to resign from HP - lambasting the HP board for the "the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago" - said in a canned statement Monday that "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."

The statement hints that Hurd's real purview will be Sun, but given his role as Oracle co-president the people in both companies better brace for the kind of layoffs Hurd is associated with. It also won't take long for Hurd's name to be bandied about as Ellison's heir presumptive.

Ellison, however, despite turning 66 a few weeks ago, just relieved Phillips of his responsibility for the engineering of Oracle's many vertical applications reportedly to take personal control.

The story being given out is that Phillips, who "resigned" Monday as president and a member of Oracle's board, wanted to leave Oracle in December but was importuned to stay through the Sun integration.

As this paper previously reported, Phillips was offered the job of CEO of CA until his illicit eight-and-a-half affair with a woman not his wife was posted on billboards in New York, San Francisco and Atlanta and what amounted to their indiscrete personal diary advertised on a web site.

The embarrassing revelation was supposedly the work of Oracle.

The laconic Hurd, also in a canned statement, said Monday, "I believe Oracle's strategy of combining software with hardware will enable Oracle to beat IBM in both enterprise servers and storage. Exadata is just the beginning. We have some exciting new systems we are going to announce later this month at Oracle OpenWorld. I'm excited to be a part of the most innovative technology team in the IT industry."

It is speculated that the HP board learned that Hurd was toying with the idea of bolting to Oracle and that that was the reason his exit was so sloppy and personal.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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