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Steve Jobs fought to keep ousted CEO Mark Hurd at Hewlett-Packard

post #1 of 29
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In an in-depth expose on Hewlett-Packard's past, present and future, it was revealed that late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs reached out to Mark Hurd shortly after his ousting in an attempt to return the CEO to power and save HP from entering a death spin.

Steve Jobs


The story of Jobs and Hurd was included as part of a lengthy BusinessWeek article, which takes a look at how HP fell from its dominating position in tech and if new CEO Meg Whitman can right the ship.

According to people familiar with the matter, Hurd received an email from Jobs three days after he had resigned from his post at HP under mounting pressure from the company's board of directors. Jobs wanted to both support his friend as well as offer counsel as to how Hurd should reconcile differences with the board so he could return to the company. After five years under Hurd, HP became the largest in tech with sales were up to $126 billion and rapidly rising profits.

Jobs, who himself was kicked out of the company he had built, had first-hand knowledge of the issues Hurd was facing at the time. The late tech guru and Hurd spent over two hours together walking through Jobs' neighborhood, according to unnamed sourced who know both men. Jobs was looking to set things right with Hurd and HP's directors, and even offered to write a letter to the board and call each person one by one.

Due to its vast influence, Jobs knew at a healthy HP equated to a healthy Silicon Vally, and wanted Hurd to continue growing the business instead of seeing the company's board send the firm into a tailspin.

Mark Hurd


In the end, Jobs was unable to get Hurd back on at HP, but was able to see his forecast played out before succumbing to pancreatic cancer, as the the board of directors named L?o Apotheker as CEO and Ray Lane as chairman. Under a subsequent restructuring, HP's profits and sales began to sag in what BusinessWeek referred to as an "implosion."

Before his death, Jobs was able to give advice to some of the top players in tech, including one-on-one mentorships with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

Hurd is now co-president and board member at Larry Ellison's Oracle Corporation.
post #2 of 29

This makes sense, I guess. Steve had a lot of respect for HP back in the day. It's interesting to see him reach out to a competitor (well, you know) like this for the sake of saving the company. Who better to know how to turn a company around!

 

And now Apple's fans fight to keep Ballmer at Microsoft, but for an entirely different reason. lol.gif

post #3 of 29
The more we learn about Jobs -- the cooler he sounds. He's so right. He didn't look at every company as a competitor -- more as "part of the ecosystem." A healthy Silicon Valley needs a healthy HP.
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

This makes sense, I guess. Steve had a lot of respect for HP back in the day. It's interesting to see him reach out to a competitor (well, you know) like this for the sake of saving the company. Who better to know how to turn a company around!

 

And now Apple's fans fight to keep Ballmer at Microsoft, but for an entirely different reason. lol.gif

 

Well seeing as how Microsoft never acted as a HEALTHY company for the ecosystem of technology, I can see keeping Blamer at Microsoft as entirely consistent with this philosophy.
post #5 of 29
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Originally Posted by GadgetCanada View Post

 

We want Ballmer more for the entertainment value of his great comments and fantastic photos

running.gif

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post #6 of 29
HP's biggest leadership problem is the incestuous relationship between the board, CEO and CEOs at other companies. They never choose the best, they only choose close associates who can return any favors. So Mark was best buddies with Larry. Larry calls Steve. Steve fights for Mark. Shareholders take it in the shorts.
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyPaul View Post

HP's biggest leadership problem is the incestuous relationship between the board, CEO and CEOs at other companies. They never choose the best, they only choose close associates who can return any favors. So Mark was best buddies with Larry. Larry calls Steve. Steve fights for Mark. Shareholders take it in the shorts.

 

I have not followed HP at all, but based on this article, your statement seems odd. The articles says:

 

 

Quote:
After five years under Hurd, HP became the largest in tech with sales were up to $126 billion and rapidly rising profits.

 

So HP was doing well under Hurd.

 

Steve Jobs tried to help Hurd stay at HP.

 

After Hurd left (apparently due to a conflict with the board), HP started doing badly.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyPaul View Post

HP's biggest leadership problem is the incestuous relationship between the board, CEO and CEOs at other companies. They never choose the best, they only choose close associates who can return any favors. So Mark was best buddies with Larry. Larry calls Steve. Steve fights for Mark. Shareholders take it in the shorts.

 

Congratulations on turning a wonderful, positive story about a charming man and turning it into a pile of poo. 

post #9 of 29

hurd was offed by hp for two reasons:

 

fraud and sexual harrassment

 

unlike what i am pretty sure is true of most posters on this forum, i know him personally (not at hp) from years ago, and was never impressed

 

imho, hurd had no vision, all he knew about was cutting, but defining the future, no way, hp needed, and still needs, better

post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyPaul View Post

HP's biggest leadership problem is the incestuous relationship between the board, CEO and CEOs at other companies. They never choose the best, they only choose close associates who can return any favors. So Mark was best buddies with Larry. Larry calls Steve. Steve fights for Mark. Shareholders take it in the shorts.

 

Hmmm... taking a look at HPQ over the last 10 years all I see is a big plus for shareholders between 2005 and 2010... and then it goes for a shit after Hurd departed.

 

Maybe I'm reading it wrong...

Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by umumum View Post

hurd was offed by hp for two reasons:

 

fraud and sexual harrassment

 

unlike what i am pretty sure is true of most posters on this forum, i know him personally (not at hp) from years ago, and was never impressed

 

imho, hurd had no vision, all he knew about was cutting, but defining the future, no way, hp needed, and still needs, better

 

You forgot to mention that, from what I understand by reading a few stories, Hurd was generally considered a complete asshole by the HP employees.

Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

 

Hmmm... taking a look at HPQ over the last 10 years all I see is a big plus for shareholders between 2005 and 2010... and then it goes for a shit after Hurd departed.

 

Maybe I'm reading it wrong...

 

I've only gone into light reading on the topic, but everywhere I look it mentions layoffs and cost cutting measures as well as minor acquisitions, at least minor relative to buying Compaq in 2002. That isn't the kind of thing they could do indefinitely, even if it makes for pretty short term numbers. Is there anything you feel he did particularly well during his tenure?

post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

 

I've only gone into light reading on the topic, but everywhere I look it mentions layoffs and cost cutting measures as well as minor acquisitions, at least minor relative to buying Compaq in 2002. That isn't the kind of thing they could do indefinitely, even if it makes for pretty short term numbers. Is there anything you feel he did particularly well during his tenure?

 

Personally, I don't give a damn about what he did well or didn't do well. Like you I only have done light reading on the subject. Printer sales were up considerably, that isn't considered cost cutting.

 

... but that wasn't the gist of the comment that I replied to. That member said that stockholders took it in the shorts during Hurd's time. I inferred that they did all right under Hurd. If you know otherwise please elaborate.

Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanada View Post

We want Ballmer more for the entertainment value...

 

I have heard, from a reliable source, that the Apple TV will have an entire channel devoted to Ballmer...

Android: pitting every phone company in the world against one, getting a higher number, and considering it a major achievement.
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Android: pitting every phone company in the world against one, getting a higher number, and considering it a major achievement.
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post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by umumum View Post

hurd was offed by hp for two reasons:

fraud and sexual harrassment

unlike what i am pretty sure is true of most posters on this forum, i know him personally (not at hp) from years ago, and was never impressed

imho, hurd had no vision, all he knew about was cutting, but defining the future, no way, hp needed, and still needs, better

Oh yeah, Whitman will 'right the ship.'

/s
post #16 of 29
Seems to show that Steve values friendship more than what is morally correct. Hurd was implicated in fraud and sexual harassment according to reports. How does Steve think he should keep his job??? He failed at his duties and may have been complicit in a crime, but because he was good at his job he should continue. The only way he stays is if he fights the charges and the truth clears him.
post #17 of 29
Originally Posted by doctoritsm View Post
Seems to show that Steve values friendship more than what is morally correct.

 

That's about as far from what it implies as is possible.

post #18 of 29
This unfortunately ignores the fact that Hurd was very widely loathed inside HP long before he got in trouble with the board. Many of HP's problems started while he was there, lots of very temporary profit (and bonus) pumping tricks, lots of stock price games happened on his watch (e.g. drastic cost cutting in areas, like R&D, that were sure to come back and bite HP a bit further down the track. And have.)

It was under Hurd that HP really became an ink seller with a sideline in printers and PCs. That couldn't last, the crash was sure to come when there was nothing left to cut and no path forward either.

Hurd's one potentially smart move was of course buying Palm, but he fumbled even that and his successors have totally dropped the consumer ball since. So now they have no strategy, no product line worthy of the name, and more problems than they know what to do with.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


 

... but that wasn't the gist of the comment that I replied to. That member said that stockholders took it in the shorts during Hurd's time. I inferred that they did all right under Hurd. If you know otherwise please elaborate.

 

 

I wasn't really addressing that. I was trying to look up who approved the purchase of Palm, as I was curious if management changes screwed it up post purchase. The one thing that really puzzled me was why they purchased Compaq prior to Hurd. They bought out a competitor at a seemingly high price that addressed a market that was nearing saturation at the time. Palm would have made more sense if they knew what to do with it.

post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

 

 

I wasn't really addressing that. I was trying to look up who approved the purchase of Palm, as I was curious if management changes screwed it up post purchase. The one thing that really puzzled me was why they purchased Compaq prior to Hurd. They bought out a competitor at a seemingly high price that addressed a market that was nearing saturation at the time. Palm would have made more sense if they knew what to do with it.

 

Hurd was CEO when Palm was purchased but left a little over 3 months later.

 

Maybe Hurd had a plan but it became obvious that if so then it either didn't work or nobody listened.

Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanada View Post

We want Ballmer more for the entertainment value...

I have heard, from a reliable source, that the Apple TV will have an entire channel devoted to Ballmer...

My stateside sources say it will only be a screensaver.
post #22 of 29
I sincerely believe webOS was going somewhere, even with the first model's flop. I believe Hurd would have stuck it out. The TouchPad hardware was decent and built well enough; their phones I can't comment on. Even before it was discontinued, I was rooting for webOS hoping it would gain at least second place in the mobile OS wars. I wouldn't mind Apple being dethroned from the #1 spot if it were at least done by an innovative product, not the digital equivalent of a counterfeit watch.

Witman is a fucking train wreck whose only claim to fame was being at the right place at the right time when eBay, a naturally desired service that filled a missing niche, succeeded -- as it would have under just about anyone at that time. HP's board keeps making one bad decision after another.

As far as Hurd's alleged sexual harassment -- most of those clams are usually bullshit in the first place.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcstarheel View Post

running.gif

I haven't seen this video, where/when was this one taken?  I guess he's learning how to walk fast from Sinofsky.

post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

 

Hurd was CEO when Palm was purchased but left a little over 3 months later.

 

Maybe Hurd had a plan but it became obvious that if so then it either didn't work or nobody listened.


Or they scrapped it right after he left. I'm not sure, but I'd find it difficult to believe their board would approve such an acquisition without a plan for it going forward.

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dshan View Post

This unfortunately ignores the fact that Hurd was very widely loathed inside HP long before he got in trouble with the board. Many of HP's problems started while he was there, lots of very temporary profit (and bonus) pumping tricks, lots of stock price games happened on his watch (e.g. drastic cost cutting in areas, like R&D, that were sure to come back and bite HP a bit further down the track. And have.)

It was under Hurd that HP really became an ink seller with a sideline in printers and PCs. That couldn't last, the crash was sure to come when there was nothing left to cut and no path forward either.

Hurd's one potentially smart move was of course buying Palm, but he fumbled even that and his successors have totally dropped the consumer ball since. So now they have no strategy, no product line worthy of the name, and more problems than they know what to do with.
 

HP has some awesome products that should be marketed more. Their switches and workstations. Their switches have the same if not more features then cisco for half the price. These same switches have lifetime warranties.

 

Their zxx series workstations rival the mac pro's usually using the same internal hardware. IF they built all their pc's like they do the workstations hp would be doing a lot better.

post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I haven't seen this video, where/when was this one taken?  I guess he's learning how to walk fast from Sinofsky.

That was from Qualcomm's CES keynote this week. Pure classic. If you didn't see their whole keynote you missed out.

 

http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/8/3850056/qualcomms-insane-ces-2013-keynote-pictures-tweets

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post #27 of 29

Larry Ellison should buy HPQ and put Hurd back in charge of it.
 

post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

 

I have heard, from a reliable source, that the Apple TV will have an entire channel devoted to Ballmer...

It's called "Developers!"

post #29 of 29

Does anyone at AI know how to proofread?????

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