Cloud // Cloud Storage
Commentary
9/7/2010
06:44 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
50%
50%

Global CIO: Resurrecting Mark Hurd: Larry Ellison's War With IBM

One month after resigning in disgrace from HP, Hurd joins Ellison's pursuit of IBM. Here are Hurd's top 10 challenges.

Is Larry Ellison's hiring of former HP CEO Mark Hurd an act of inspired brilliance or an example of emotional overreach that will create more drama and corporate intrigue than even Oracle can stand?

Here we have a guy who for five years was the top honcho at the world's largest IT company, a $125 billion powerhouse where he was the unquestioned alpha male. Now he's going to a company about one-third that size where he not only won't be #1 but he also won't even be #2—rather, he'll be #2B, as he shares the title of president with incumbent Safra Catz and fills the spot vacated yesterday by Charles Phillips, whose resignation was simultaneous with Hurd's arrival.

Armed with not only an ego the size of Wyoming but also a proven track record of reinvigorating a tarnished brand and rebuilding one of the world's acknowledged leaders in technology, Hurd presents the exact opposite profile of what most companies would look for in a #2 executive (okay, okay, #2B).

Then again, Oracle is not like most companies. And as surely as night follows day, Larry Ellison is not like other CEOs. In an industry stuffed with prolific achievers and fearless, intensely capable leaders, Ellison stands out as the one CEO whose achievements, personality, and unquestioned control of his company make the resurrection and assimilation of Mark Hurd not just possible but almost inevitable.

(For the most comprehensive strategic analyses available anywhere of Hurd's time at HP, please be sure to check out our "Recommended Reading" list at the end of this column.)

Just look at the context in which Ellison positioned Hurd in the press release announcing his hiring: "There is no executive in the IT world with more relevant experience than Mark," pronounced Ellison in the press release announcing Hurd's hiring. "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."

Global CIO
Global CIOs: A Site Just For You
Visit InformationWeek's Global CIO -- our new online community and information resource for CIOs operating in the global economy.

So to answer the question I raised above—inspired brilliance or emotional overreach—I vote for inspired brilliance.

But.

And it's a big but:

Previous
1 of 3
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Google in the Enterprise Survey
Google in the Enterprise Survey
There's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity ­products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent ­mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers ­distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Nov. 10, 2014
Just 30% of respondents to our new survey say their companies are very or extremely effective at identifying critical data and analyzing it to make decisions, down from 42% in 2013. What gives?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.