Oracle Hires Hurd As President

Hurd is to take on the role of co-president of Oracle, following the resignation of Charles Phillips

Oracle announced on 6 September that the database giant has hired former HP chief executive Mark Hurd as co-president reporting to Oracle chairman and chief executive Larry Ellison.

Oracle announced that Hurd has joined Oracle as president and has been named to Oracle’s Board of Directors. In his new role, Hurd joins Safra Catz as co-presidents under Ellison. Charles Phillips, formerly co-president with Catz, announced his resignation from the company on 6 September. Phillips’ departure means Oracle’s office of the president will remain a duopoly rather than a triumvirate.

Hurd resigned from HP in August amid a scandal around an investigation by HP’s board relating to a sexual harassment allegation and reports of fudged expense reports.

Relevant experience

Following Hurd’s departure from HP, Ellison, a personal friend of Hurd, criticised the HP board, calling their move “the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago”.

Mark Hurd

Meanwhile, in welcoming Hurd aboard at Oracle, Ellison, in a statement said, “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.”

“Mark is an outstanding executive and a proven winner,” added Oracle president Safra Catz, also in a statement. “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 (£65bn) business.”

And in his first move as an Oracle executive, Hurd wasted no time attacking IBM. IBM stood as HP’s biggest competitor and is Oracle’s closest rival as well.

“I believe Oracle’s strategy of combining software with hardware will enable Oracle to beat IBM in both enterprise servers and storage,” Hurd said in a statement. “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.”


The shuffling of Hurd and Phillips in and out of the same position is ironic in that both men have been tainted by setbacks related to personal relationships with women other than their wives. In January, Phillips acknowledged having a long-term affair with a woman named YaVaughnie Wilkins after billboards began appearing giving details about the affair.

Phillips has resigned his position as Oracle president and as a member of the company’s board of directors.

“Charles has evolved our field culture toward a more customer-centric organisation and improved our top line consistency through a period of tremendous change and growth,” Ellison said in a statement. “When Charles approached me last December and expressed his desire to transition out of the company, I asked him to stay on through the Sun integration which has gone well. We will miss his talent and leadership, but I respect his decision.”

In his own statement, Phillips said: “I want to thank Larry Ellison and the Oracle Board of Directors for the tremendous opportunity to be a part of an important and winning team for the last 29 quarters. It has been an honor to work with them, Safra Catz, and the thousands of Oracle employees around the world who are committed to delivering high quality products and services to customers, and to be a part of one of the most innovative companies on the planet.”