When Mark Hurd was fired as CEO of Hewlett-Packard following a mysterious sexual harassment complaint, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison slammed HP's board of directors saying they "just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs." Now Ellison is putting his money where his mouth is, hiring Hurd as Oracle's co-president. "Mark did a brilliant job at HP and I expect he'll do even better at Oracle," Ellison said in a statement announcing the hire. Intriguingly, Oracle is looking to compete in the same space as HP. Will Hurd exact revenge on his former bosses?

  • Recap "For those who came in late, Hurd was fired from HP for the alleged lapse of having fiddled his expenses over taking a former soft porn star out to dinner, who accused him of sexual harassment, and covering it up," explains Ed Berridge at The Inquirer. "At the time Oracle's CEO Larry Ellison slammed HP's board of directors... Ellison said that there is no executive in the IT world with more relevant experience for Oracle than Hurd."
  • Now Hurd Can Get Back at HP for Firing Him, writes John Paczkowski at All Things Digital: "Indeed, Hurd's knowledge of HP's server and data storage-systems business will undoubtedly come in handy at Oracle, which has been aggressively moving into that very space ever since its acquisition of Sun. In that sense, Hurd's hiring is a real coup for Oracle. Who better to put the screws to a rival than a former CEO with a bone to pick?"
  • HP Is Kicking Itself Now, suggests Patrick Thibodeau at Computer World: "HP's board may have hoped Hurd would disappear into the mysterious world of private equity fund management, and not, as it turns out, go to a company with an ever-expanding desire for growth."
  • This Could Arouse HP's Lawyers, writes Dennis Howlett at ZDNet: "H-P could sue on the assumption that as he is now working for a competitor his ability to maintain confidentiality goes out the window. Experts believe the non-compete will be hard to make stand up but that still leaves the question - what about the money? I guess we'll have to wait see if H-P sues. I'm betting that Larry Ellison has provided Hurd with assurance that whatever his potential loss, Oracle will cover with stock options and the promise of even greater riches at Oracle."
  • It's Now Oracle Vs. IBM Vs. HP, writes Larry Dignan at ZDNet: "if Oracle is going to topple IBM it will by extension knock HP around too. In storage, HP is the leader in total storage systems revenue (EMC is tops on pure play storage), according to IDC. IBM is No. 3 in market share. On servers, HP and IBM are the two market share leaders with 32.5 percent and 29.8 percent, according to IDC. Oracle is No. 4 with nearly half the market share of No. 3 Dell."