Mark Hurd’s Lead in Oracle


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.

Does experience have a replacement?

However smart one might be and however talented one might be, irrespective of that the importance of experience can never be undermined. If you are lucky enough, you would realize this in only a couple of months after you join your practical life. People with experience have a far more firm grip on things and know better how to tackle things; but do we really need to look for a replacement for it?

The thing that differentiates human beings from other mammals is their ability to grow their knowledgebase on the shoulders of their ancestors. What it means is that ‘humans are humans because they learn not only from their own mistakes & experiences but also from the experiences of other fellow human beings.’

So, what needs to be done is to be human & learn from others’ experiences. If you are smart enough, you would be able to put others’ experiences to good use for the benefit of yourself, your organization and the entire humanity!

The bottomline is: Experience doesn’t have a replacement; but it need not necessarily be yours!