Mark Hurd’s Lead in Oracle

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Mark Hurd has joined Oracle. The market welcomed this move with a whopping increase in share price as soon as the news broke. Is it a good thing for Oracle? For HP?

At HP, his departure was somewhat strange with a host of stories from his abuse of power and sexual harassment charges to simple expense account irregularities as suggested in the company’s press release, but things were not brought out very clearly in the Press Release done by HP. It was a hotchpotch of news items which were found all over the “internet” and the “off-ternet” suggesting reasons for his departure but few were able to assign clear cut reasons for the same. HP’s position goes worse on two accounts: firstly, losing out on a competent employee means loss of company performance in the short-term and secondly, such a loss of performance would be hit by even larger fear lingering on other top C-level executives that would possibly keep them from even productive, professional involvement with female executives in many instances.

At Oracle, Hurd’s new Presidency means a host of opportunities for the company. However, Larry Ellison would still retain the top-man’s role in the company. This new setup with with Safra Catz and the role in the Board would mean a revitalization of Oracle at C-level and the possibility of entering into many new dimensions, much faster.

Clearly, things in the industry would shuffle up and there would be radical diversions in the strategy of not only these two companies, but also others. It would be interesting to note and compare HP’s growth trajectory and product and service innovation with Oracle’s in the next few months to years to see how important the “person behind the gun”, or the top executive could be in leading and managing change.

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