Since his sudden ouster as Hewlett-Packard CEO and then his re-emergence one month later as president of Oracle, Mark Hurd has generally kept a low profile and not much has been said about his specific responsibilities. But in a low-key comment during last week's earnings call, Hurd revealed what he'll be focusing upon at Oracle.
Since his sudden ouster as Hewlett-Packard CEO and then his re-emergence one month later as president of Oracle, Mark Hurd has generally kept a low profile and not much has been said about his specific responsibilities. But in a low-key comment during last week's earnings call, Hurd revealed what he'll be focusing upon at Oracle.Asked by an analyst about his priorities, Hurd said, "I will just add to it from a priority perspective. First, this is a very well run company. We want to grow and we want to grow profitably. We want to take share, we want to be in a position where we can delight our customers and earn more of their spending and that's my priority.
"When you look at the R&D and the things we will be announcing next week, we want to have the best sales force on the planet, earn customers' respect every day, and we want to deliver the best service on the planet, and those are the things I'm working on."
While those comments were brief and short on details, it's clear that Hurd did not say anything about devoting a lot-or even a little-of his time to cutting costs and wringing greater efficiencies out of the organization.
While some folks speculated that Hurd would come into Oracle and immediately begin swinging axes with both hands, my guess was that while anyone with the title of president of a huge global corporation has to be mindful of cost controls, for Hurd those would be decidedly low-priority targets because Oracle's other president, Safra Catz, has done such a stellar job in those areas, as evidenced by Oracle's lofty operating margins.
Hurd's remarks at Oracle Open World have focused on customers and new products and Oracle's $4 billion R&D budget, and at one point in Hurd's keynote remarks, as he pointed up to a huge slide showing the company's steady increases in R&D investments over the past several years, he asked the audience to imagine what Oracle Open World will look like in 2014, when the full impact of this year's $4 bill investments have come to fruition.
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