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3/29/2005
05:53 PM
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HP Confirms NCR's Hurd Will Replace Fiorina

HP's board selects NCR president and chief executive Mark Hurd to keep the company moving forward as a full-service enterprise vendor.

Moving quickly to replace Carly Fiorina, who was fired in February, Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday confirmed that it hired NCR president and chief executive Mark Hurd to run the computer and printer company. Hurd, 48, is a 25-year veteran of NCR and has served as chief executive and president the past two years.

"It certainly looks like the HP board not only wanted to throw out Carly, but they wanted to pick a successor who was as unlike her as possible," says Gordon Haff, an analyst with Illuminata. Hurd has been "pretty low key, where Carly loved the media limelight. He's been a very long-term NCR employee, where Carly has moved around a fair bit in her career."

HP has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday to formally introduce Hurd as the new HP leader. Haff says the hiring of Hurd would seem to indicate that HP's board wants keep a strong emphasis on being a broad enterprise provider.

Hurd "doesn't seem like the person they would pick if they were going to put greater emphasis on printing and imaging at the expense of enterprise computing," he says.

Patricia Dunn, HP's nonexecutive chairman, said that the HP board unanimously selected Hurd based on his track record in leading a complex organization, as well as his strong executive and personal qualities.

"Our search for a new leader to return HP to sustained success has been focused and thorough," Dunn said in a statement. "Mark came to our attention because of his strong execution skills, his proven ability to lead top-performing teams, and his track record in driving shareholder value."

Hurd will begin his tenure at HP officially on April 1 and will join the HP board.

NCR said Tuesday that Hurd was resigning immediately. NCR board member James Ragland was named interim chief executive. The NCR board has begun a search for a permanent replacement.

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