The key was judgment, not performance
Hurd unexpectedly stepped down from HP last month. It's not that his performance was lacking; he'd successfully navigated the company into the higher-margin services arena and HP had record profits during his tenure. Performance wasn't questioned -- his ethics were. Certain "improprieties" came to light regarding Hurd and a former actress who was consulting for the company. While HP's board didn't find any violations of sexual harassment, other areas like filing bogus expense reports were cited.
Those nagging ethics questions haven't stopped Oracle from being interested, according to reports from The Wall Street Journal. While the specific job he'd take isn't known, Hurd moving to Oracle would be a big move. (It's worth noting that the Journal says talks are still ongoing, and any potential deal could fall apart.)
A coup for Oracle
If the deal does come together, it's hard to see it as anything but a coup for Oracle. Oracle's recent acquisition of Sun pushed it further into the hardware space, an area that Hurd dealt with every day running HP's storage and servers business.
Convergence is the word of the decade for big technology firms -- they're effectively trying to copy IBM's
That's where Hurd can help. He already directed HP into offering more complete solutions, and that expertise could be readily applied to Oracle. Not only that, but as CEO of NCR
Hurd has the experience and skill set to help lead Oracle through its transformation. Don't let his unceremonious ending with HP fool you -- Mark Hurd and Oracle are a perfect fit. Now, let's just hope the honeymoon phase lasts between him and Larry Ellison.