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September 7, 2010

Oracle snaps up former HP boss Mark Hurd

President Charles Phillips makes way

By Steve Evans

Former HP CEO Mark Hurd – who quit the firm following allegations of sexual harassment and falsifying expenses – has joined enterprise software giant Oracle as co-president.

It is expected that Hurd will help lead the integration of Sun Microsystems, acquired by Oracle for $7.4bn last year. The acquisition of Sun will see Oracle move more in to space occupied by HP such as servers and other data centre products, and it is thought Hurd’s knowledge of this area will serve Oracle well.

Hurd will report directly to Oracle boss Larry Ellison.

The move has been rumoured since Ellison, a close friend of Hurd, criticised HP over their handling of the affair. Although an internal HP investigation found no evidence of sexual harassment it did find "numerous instances" in which Hurd submitted inaccurate expense reports meant to conceal Hurd’s "close, personal relationship" with an independent contractor.

Of his appointment Ellison 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."

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

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Hurd will be replacing Charles Phillips who left the company on Monday. Phillips is himself no stranger to controversy. Earlier this year images of Phillips with his former mistress appeared on billboards in New York, Atlanta and San Francisco and more recently he was publicly corrected after suggesting that Oracle has a fiver-year, $70bn acquisition strategy.

Ellison said that Phillips first asked to leave Oracle in December last year but was persuaded to continue to oversee the integration of Sun Microsystems.

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