Hewlett-Packard added five new directors to its board, giving majority control of the world’s top-selling technology company to people who weren’t involved in the controversial August ousting of chief executive Mark Hurd, the FT reports. Four serving directors will stand down, while new chief executive Léo Apotheker and chairman Ray Lane, who both joined in late September, will be among the eight who remain, the company said on Thursday. The shake-up gives HP distance from the continuing fallout from the departure of Mr Hurd, a hard-driving executive whose resignation knocked $10bn off the company’s market value. “It’s very unusual” said Steve Mader, a director at recruiters Korn/Ferry International. “One of the obvious possibilities is that the decisions around Hurd and some of the subsequent actions were a schism or a factioning on the board”.
Hewlett-Packard has added five new directors to its board, giving majority control of the top-selling tech company to people who weren’t involved in the controversial August ousting of chief executive Mark Hurd, reports the FT. Four serving directors will stand down, while new chief executive Léo Apotheker and chairman Ray Lane, who both joined in September, will be among the eight who remain, HP said on Thursday. The shake-up – which is also occurring in executive ranks – is part of HP’s effort to draw a line under continuing fallout from the departure of Hurd, whose resignation knocked $10bn off the company’s market value. Some shareholders have sued, accusing the previous board of wasting assets in granting Hurd severance that could be worth as much as $40m. The WSJ cites sources saying that the SEC has been investigating circumstances surrounding Hurd’s departure.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission is to determine whether Mark Hurd, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive, told then-contract employee Jodie Fisher that the company planned to buy Electronic Data Systems and if any laws or rules were violated as a result. The information would have been worth a great deal to an investor who acted on it, setting the stage for a classic insider trading investigation, the FT reports. People familiar with the inquiry, which was confirmed by HP late on Monday, said on Tuesday that the agency was looking into whether anyone traded as a result of Mr Hurd’s alleged words. Ms Fisher has denied any such trading and told others that she only passed the information on to her mother, who likewise did not trade, according to people familiar with her account.
Federal regulators are investigating Mark Hurd’s abrupt resignation as chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, including a claim that Hurd shared inside information, reports the WSJ, citing people familiar with the matter. As part of its probe, the SEC is checking whether Hurd passed information about HP’s $13.9bn acquisition of tech consulting company Electronic Data Systems to a former HP event hostess in 2008, before the deal was announced. Hurd has denied having an inappropriate relationship with the HP contractor, Jodie Fisher, whose accusation of sexual harrassment led to his ouster from in August. The NYT adds that the Hurd saga has become Silicon Valley’s own “version of a soap opera”.
Incoming Hewlett-Packard chairman Ray Lane has issued a number of astonishing public accusations that Mark Hurd “repeatedly lied” to the company’s board during the investigation that led to his ousting, an upgrade in rhetoric that shows HP’s increasing hostility towards long-time partner Oracle, reports the FT. Mr Lane, a prominent venture capitalist who served as president of Oracle a decade ago, made the fresh accusation more than two months after HP forced out the well-regarded Mr Hurd, who more recently signed on as a co-president at Oracle.
That didn’t last long. Hewlett-Packard has abandoned its legal attempt to prevent former chief executive Mark Hurd from moving to Oracle only a fortnight after filing papers, the NYT reports. Hurd has waived rights over restricted stock units and the two companies said he would protect HP’s confidential information, adds the FT — and Oracle and HP even confirmed that they would renew their strategic partnership into the bargain. HP can count this one as a small victory, Reuters says — it was never going to win in court, but at least it’s clawed back some money for shareholders.
HP and Oracle have resolved their dispute over the right of Mark Hurd to take up a post as co-president at Oracle, reports the FT. HP had sued its former chief executive shortly after he joined its long-time partner and latter-day rival this month, and also sought an injunction preventing Hurd taking up his new role. In a joint statement on Monday, HP and Oracle reaffirmed their long-term strategic partnership and announced the resolution of litigation over Hurd – a “sharp contrast”, notes DealBook, from the fiery diatribes and taunts from Oracle chief Larry Ellison aimed at HP.
Hewlett-Packard’s board is nearing a decision on a successor to Mark Hurd as chief executive officer, and is leaning toward picking an internal candidate, reports Bloomberg, citing a person familiar with the matter. The short list includes Vyomesh Joshi, who runs HP’s printer business; Todd Bradley, head of the personal-computer division; Dave Donatelli, who runs the storage and server unit; Tom Hogan, executive vice president of enterprise sales and marketing; and Ann Livermore, executive vice president of the enterprise business, said the person.
Ho hum. Another day, another Hewlett-Packard bid…
The acquisitive US tech giant is nearing a deal to buy US security software maker ArcSight, fresh from its $2.35bn victory in a bidding war against Dell for data storage company 3Par, reports the FT. Read more
Hewlett-Packard is nearing a deal to buy US security software maker ArcSight, fresh from its victory in a bidding war with Dell for data storage company 3Par, reports the FT. HP is expected to pay about $1.5bn for ArcSight and a deal could be announced within days. ArcSight’s shares have jumped on takeover speculation and closed on Friday at $35.10, for a market cap of $1.21bn. DealBook notes that despite the contentious departure of its former CEO Mark Hurd, HP again has “shown little timidity about paying up”, while the WSJ – which first reported the ArcSight deal – notes that HP last month announced acquisitions of software makers Fortify Software and Stratavia for undisclosed terms.
Mark Hurd is expected to earn $11m in his new role at Oracle, putting him back among the tech industry’s highest-paid executives, the FT reports — though he may not like having a boss (Oracle’s Larry Ellison) above him for once, the WSJ says. But Hurd’s move is more than a executive suite soap opera, the FT adds — the industry as a whole is moving from an era of close alliances to deepening fractures on which chunks of the market to carve out. Oracle is shoving its way into the server and storage sector — while Hurd’s former employers HP are making a defensive bid in networking.
Mark Hurd could make nearly $11m a year in his new position of co-president at Oracle, putting him in the tech industry’s top pay ranks after his forced resignation as head of Hewlett-Packard last month, reports the FT. News of the pay deal followed a legal challenge from HP that some legal analysts saw as an attempt to recover some of the millions that the computer maker paid out to its former chief. HP’s board has been criticised over its agreement to pay Hurd a severance package valued at $35m-$40m. FT Alphaville meanwhile notes similarities between Hurd and newly-promoted bankers Barclays’ Bob Diamond and HSBC’s Stephen Green.
It’s getting ugly in executive-recruitment land. “HP sues to block Hurd’s move to Oracle”, reads one FT headline on Wednesday, while another proclaims: “Outrage over Diamond promotion“, while the BBC’s Robert Peston asks, “Has the casino swallowed Barclays?”
That’s just a tiny taste of the furore that the elevation of the two — er, rather controversial — chief executives has whipped up on both sides of the Atlantic. Read more
Hewlett-Packard has filed a civil complaint to stop Mark Hurd from joining Oracle as co-president, citing imperilled trade secrets, Reuters reports. The contract Hurd signed with HP included a two-year confidentiality agreement, but lawyers expect the company will have an uphill battle to convince courts, the NYT notes. The actual filing (PDF via the WSJ) does indeed look like pretty thin gruel, Felix Salmon argues, with HP’s efforts being better spent securing a fitting replacement for Hurd. Oracle’s stock meanwhile jumped 6 per cent on Tuesday on confirmation of Hurd’s new role, the FT reports. But surely Hurd can’t be worth that much in the long term, the WSJ counters.
Hewlett-Packard has sued to block Mark Hurd, its former chief executive, from joining Oracle, intensifying the saga that has transfixed Silicon Valley, reports the FT. The lawsuit, which seeks an injunction preventing Hurd from taking up the post of co-president of Oracle, was filed on Tuesday in a California court, a day after Hurd’s appointment. Hurd was forced out by HP’s board in August for mis-stating expenses linked to a relationship with a former HP marketing consultant. Meanwhile, DealJournal looks at Oracle’s stock price move and asks whether Hurd is worth $6.8bn.
Larry Ellison has put his money where his mouth is, writes the NYT. Oracle’s chief executive has secured the appointment of Mark Hurd, former chief of Hewlett-Packard, to a co-president role that might give Oracle the edge over HP in the hardware business. Mr Hurd also targeted IBM in his statement on the move, reports Reuters. But there are still questions over where Oracle goes next in terms of R&D and acquisitions in the Hurd-hardware era, ZDNet’s Irregular Enterprise notes. It’s all turning into a nightmare for HP, however, VentureBeat argues.
Mark Hurd has been appointed co-president of US software giant Oracle only a month after being forced out as head of Hewlett-Packard over breaches of code of conduct, reports the FT. Hurd’s rapid return reflects strong support from some in Silicon Valley, including Oracle’s co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison, despite his ouster by HP’s board after sexual harrassment allegations and censure for “inappropriate” expenses reports. Oracle on Monday named Hurd as one of its two presidents and a board director, giving him a key supporting role to Ellison who, as the NYT puts it, has “put his money where his controversial mouth is”.
Oracle’s board will meet within days to vote on a deal to bring Mark Hurd to the company in a top role, marking a rapid corporate rehabilitation for the ousted Hewlett-Packard chief executive, the FT reports. While Mr Hurd isn’t expected to take the chief executive role off Oracle’s founder Larry Ellison, almost any position will be a coup for his comeback — and for Oracle, which would benefit from his expertise as it squares up to HP in hardware markets.
Even so, the decision is still up to the board, the WSJ says. Mr Hurd has also received offers from private equity firms, Reuters adds. Then again — if Mr Hurd is accepted, Larry Ellison will have an instant succession plan, opening the possibility of a CEO role later on, ZDNet’s Between the Lines notes.
Oracle’s board is set to vote within days to bring Mark Hurd to the company in a top role, marking a swift image rehabilitation for the ousted Hewlett-Packard chief executive, reports the FT. Hurd is unlikely to win the title of chief executive, held since 1977 by Larry Ellison, Oracle’s founder and chairman and 25% stake owner. But almost any position would represent a coup for Hurd after HP’s board forced him to quit over his handling of expenses following sexual harassment charges by a female consultant. The WSJ notes that if successful, Hurd would join a company that has been ‘increasingly stepping on HP’s turf’.
Hewlett-Packard’s chief executive Mark Hurd surprised the board by settling a sexual-harassment claim before directors could learn more about the incident, a final breach of trust that contributed to his ouster on Aug 6 as CEO, reports Bloomberg citing people familiar with the decision. The FT earlier reported that a loophole in Hurd’s contract made it hard for HP to dismiss him outright and raised pressure on the board to give him severance pay that could be worth nearly $40m, despite his admission of ethical lapses.
A Hewlett-Packard shareholder has opened a lawsuit against the company’s board following the controversial departure of its chief executive Mark Hurd, says the WSJ. The suit seeks to reclaim severance paid to Hurd and for the board to reimburse the company for any damages caused by their actions. It could be another headache for HP’s general counsel Mike Holston, who lawyers say acted rightly over advising on Hurd’s departure even as Wall Street analysts see overreaction, Reuters reports.
The search is on for Hewlett-Packard’s new chief executive after Mark Hurd’s exit on Friday, Reuters reports — and the choice made by the company may reveal whether Apple or Cisco will be its main rival in the next decade. While HP could seek to poach personnel from its current rival IBM, head-hunting from Cisco would stake out a claim in the server market, while an Apple hire could open up opportunities in smartphones.
Hurd’s fall shows that corporate boards will no longer sweep personal misbehaviour under the carpet, favouring the pursuit of a disciplined image, the FT says. Corporate governance experts have praised HP’s strict approach, the WSJ adds. Spare a thought then for interim CEO Cathie Lesjak as she appraises HP’s top-line growth slowdown, reports Bloomberg.