Ellison on Hurd: HP Board made worst personnel decision since Apple Board idiots fired Steve Jobs

Apple StoreOracle CEO Larry Ellison has released the following open letter, verbatim:

The HP Board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple Board fired Steve Jobs many years ago. That decision nearly destroyed Apple and would have if Steve hadn’t come back and saved them. HP had a long list of failed CEOs until they hired Mark who has spent the last five years doing a brilliant job reviving HP to its former greatness.

In losing Mark Hurd, the HP board failed to act in the best interest of HP’s employees, shareholders, customers and partners. The HP board admits that it fully investigated the sexual harassment claims against Mark and found them to be utterly false.

Nevertheless, the HP board then voted 6 to 4 go public with this sexual harassment claim against Mark because six of the directors believed that “full disclosure was good corporate governance”. Publishing known false sexual harassment claims is not good corporate governance; it’s cowardly corporate political correctness.

Those six directors caused HP to lose a nearly irreplaceable CEO. Those six directors who voted against Mark can try hard to hide behind a claim of “good corporate governance” but their decision has already cost HP shareholders over $10 billion… and my guess (is) it’s going to cost them a lot more.

The final insult was when the HP board (was) going to the press and suggested that Mark Hurd engaged in expense fraud over a few thousand dollars. This is not credible. Mark Hurd, like most other CEOs, does not fill out his own expense reports, so even if errors were made Mark didn’t make them.

What the expense fraud claims do reveal is an HP board desperately grasping at straws in trying to publicly explain the unexplainable; how a false sexual harassment claim and some petty expense report errors led to the loss of one of Silicon Valley’s best and most respected leaders.”

Since full disclosure seems to be the order of the day, I should disclose that Mark Hurd (is) a close friend and I am deeply offended by what just happened to him. If the HP board is offended by my comments… so be it.”

Larry Ellison. CEO, Oracle Corporation

Source: Oracle Corp.

MacDailyNews Take: Crazy Larry strikes again. Certainly, Mark Hurd is was no Steve Jobs. Trust us, Lar, they’ll soon find another guy or gal to oversee the peddling of wildly-overpriced printer cartridges.


  1. Jodie Fisher is the real winner in this. No doubt she’s being given all sorts of new film & TV offers. Plus she probably scored multiple millions in her private settlement with sleezebag adulterer Hurd. I understand Hurd was almost universally hated by HP employees and that he single handedly destroyed thousands of HP employees and former employees lives through his engineered destruction of pensions and jobs. I hope his wife has the good sense to divorce him with Gloria Alldred as her attorney to make sure she gets HALF his undeserved fortune.

  2. Hurd may be no Steve Jobs, but he’s also no Carly Fiorina, who utterly destroyed HP’s former prestige. When it was announced she had been fired/resigned HP employees broke out in celebration.

  3. Hurd is no Steve Jobs but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t valuable. He was doing a far better job than past HP CEO’s. MDN, by your logic every CEO in the world is useless because they aren’t Steve Jobs. Think for a bit before you write your ridiculous takes.

  4. It was under Hurd that HP began kicking the crap out of Dell. So in that regard, I think Hurd did do a very credible job also selling computers in addition to ink. I also agree with Ellison, (yee gads!!!), I think Hurd was a good CEO, and that this situation wasn’t enough to sink his ship.

  5. All the emotions aside (I think that HP printer support, quality etc. has taken a dive over the last few years, but when it comes to buying PC boxes, I only buy HP as a result of good support and quality), Hurd has been an incredible asset for a HP that was lost in the woods. And I do not disagree with Ellison’s overall point about governance. The HP board acted irresponsibly and in a chicken shit manner. If it were not for Ellison’s almost maniacal hatred for all things MS and thus Hurd’s risk of losing a good friend, Hurd is the logical replacement for Ballmer at MS. Under Hurd I think you would see MS out of the consumer market and fully engaged in the enterprise. Better yet and with no loss of friendship, Ellison should find a place at Oracle for Hurd.

  6. Jobs wasn’t CEO when he was forced out in 1985, and he wasn’t fired. He eventually resigned after losing a power struggle with the board and Sculley. But I suppose Ellison’s argument is still valid – they were short-sighted in letting him go.

    It’s difficult for me to get worked up at all about Hurd. HP pretty much sucks no matter who is in charge.

  7. What really hurts HP is, the body of work left undone by Hurd.

    He was brought in to restore integrity at the highest echelons of the company, or clean house as they say and then, set the agenda to move the company forward.

    He hand-picked his staff and developed the chain of command. Together, they laid out the short and long term goals and strategies for the next five years out and all began networking, reestablishing relationships, amending and renegotiating contracts, renewing friendships in the hopes of restoring the faith of their partners and competitors alike.

    Then there is the work left undone. If someone directly involved doesn’t step in and take the reins, Hurd’s replacement will scrap the whole lot, especially the visionary aspirations, because it’s not of his/her mind.

    If second in command is moved up to the CEO slot, then HP will have to admit that Hurd was their best bet for a brighter future. If outside talent is brought in, they’ll want to do it there way and if the board is of a mind to let them, then it shows a vote of no confidence in Hurd.

    Personally, I believe it’s the climate at HP that give its leadership the impression that there a bunch of good ‘ol boys and as long as you don’t get caught, pretty much anything is fair game.

    It kind of reminds me of the Navy’s annual Tailhook celebrations in Vegas, which can be enormous fun, but it also encourages gentlemen to behave like the pigs that they are.

    This is a lose/lose for both sides and Larry’s right, the board should take some time to reflect on their company’s policies and maybe next time the punishment should fit the crime.

    You have to ask, what’s being rewarded here? Hurd gets trashed, and the girl hits the lottery.

  8. He was sacked over expense filing which he doesn’t file.
    He was sacked over sexual harassment which he didn’t do.
    So, tell me again, FutureMedia, just WHY was this guy sacked?

  9. MDN… peddling cheep PCs is not the core of HP’s business though you must grant them at least the respect they deserve in the desktop business as compared to Dell who spends next to zero dollars on R&D. HP’s real competitor is IBM in the server & services market, and they don’t have a real strong competitor in the printer business. That being said, I agree with crazy Larry on this one. Hurd had the vision and the execution control to save HP. On the desktop front the move to buy Palm was a perfect break from the main thing holding them back on the desktop… their deal with the MS devil. Apple should have bought Palm just to keep them away from everyone else. The additional IP for future protection of Apple’s own IP would have been worth the price of Palm. If you’ve followed the IP debate between Apple and Palm then you know that the iPhone steps on the toes of some of Palm’s IP as much if not more so than the reverse. Palm didn’t have the financial backing to get in that pissing contest with Apple. As you mentioned in the past Palm was takeover bait, they didn’t have the dollars to make the webOS a credible platform… thats not the case with HP. Make no mistake the webOS is a strong platform to build on. Hurd understood what the others did not. the fact that he is no longer running HP is a good thing for Apple… bad thing for HP.

  10. Man! Is there any way to turn off auto-correct on an iPad? That feature is starting to annoy me. It’s not auto-correcting as much as it is anticipating and I don’t much care for its word choices, or the way it tends to sneak words in on you.

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