Ouster of HP CEO compared to when 'idiots' at Apple fired Steve Jobs

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison this week compared the ouster of HP CEO Mark Hurd to when Steve Jobs was run out of the company he founded -- Apple -- in the 1980s by "idiots" on the board of directors.



Hurd resigned from his position with the world's largest PC maker last Friday, after an investigation into sexual harassment claims found that the company's standards of business conduct were violated. HP's board of directors reportedly ousted Hurd based in part on the advice of a public relations specialist, who felt that the sexual harassment complaint could embarrass the company. The company's internal investigation also found alleged expense account irregularities.



This week, The New York Times reached out to Ellison, a personal friend of Hurd's, for comment. Responding in a passionate e-mail, he compared Hurd's exit to when Jobs was kicked out of Apple in 1985.



"The HP board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago," Ellison wrote. "That decision nearly destroyed Apple and would have if Steve hadn't come back and saved them."



Jobs, of course, returned to Apple in 1997, when the company purchased NeXT, of which he was then CEO. He took over the company he co-founded when it was near-death, and in the years since found great success, earning him the title CEO of the Decade from Fortune.



As for Hurd and HP, the former CEO oversaw a period of great success for the computer maker, as the company was consistently the top selling PC maker both domestically and worldwide. In the June quarter, HP commanded a 25.7 percent market share in the U.S. on sales of 4.7 million PCs. Its sales grew 14.2 percent year over year.



Hurd temporarily took over as the head of HP in 2005 as the interim CEO. Then, in 2006, he took the position full-time after the previous chief executive, Patricia Dunn, resigned. Dunn stepped down after it was revealed she had authorized a team of independent security experts to investigate board members and journalists over an information leak that revealed the company's long-term strategy.



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

  • Reply 1 of 60
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,267member
    I tell you companies are not taking any chances these days..
  • Reply 2 of 60
    wurm5150wurm5150 Posts: 763member
    Steve didn't committ sexual harassment, there's a huge difference. His ouster years ago was nothing more than a power grab..
  • Reply 3 of 60
    str1f3str1f3 Posts: 573member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    Steve didn't committ sexual harassment, there's a huge difference. His ouster years ago was nothing more than a power grab..



    From what I've read HP reviewed the issue and found that it was baseless.
  • Reply 4 of 60
    hittrj01hittrj01 Posts: 753member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    Steve didn't committ sexual harassment, there's a huge difference. His ouster years ago was nothing more than a power grab..



    The sad thing is that I don't think a lot of these powerful CEO types think that's a a fireable offense.
  • Reply 5 of 60
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    Like HP's been doing anything remotely interesting.
  • Reply 6 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ... "The HP board admits that it fully investigated the sexual harassment claims against Mark and found them to be utterly false."



    I'm not totally disagreeing with his point of view, but I think this statement from Elison is wrong isn't it? He didn't have sex with the woman or have "intimate personal relations," as the woman says, but he did violate a lot of rules and he did lie about it after the fact. He also did pay her money and use her "inappropriately," and she is a sort of "good-time girl."



    Larry Elison is no saint and he's probably just lashing out after his friend got caught doing something.



    Personally, I don't care anyway because HP is where good products go to die as far as I've ever seen.
  • Reply 7 of 60
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,875member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    Steve didn't committ sexual harassment, there's a huge difference. His ouster years ago was nothing more than a power grab..



    That kind of sounds like a form of sexual harassment...
  • Reply 8 of 60
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,875member
    If I was an HP shareholder I'd be peeved at the board. They're spending $40 million to punish Hurd for a $20,000 mis-use of funds, and the "sexual harassment" claim sounds highly dubious.



    I have a conspiracy theory (which I don't believe, but it's fun to theorize) that Microsoft is behind this as punishment for Hurd favoring WebOS over Windows 7 in upcoming alleged products.
  • Reply 9 of 60
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,586member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post


    I have a conspiracy theory (which I don't believe, but it's fun to theorize) that Microsoft is behind this as punishment for Hurd favoring WebOS over Windows 7 in upcoming alleged products.



    For conspiracy theories to be worth airing, even if you don't believe it, it should at least have a modicum of plausibility, don't you think?
  • Reply 10 of 60
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post


    The sad thing is that I don't think a lot of these powerful CEO types think that's a a fireable offense.



    Why should they? The President of the United States got away with it, why shouldn't they?





    (I realize that Monica L allegedly voluntarily got involved with Clinton, but in a large company with reasonable standards, that would not be sufficient. A CEO having sex with an intern would be classified as inappropriate - and probably sexual harassment.)
  • Reply 11 of 60
    So does this mean that HP will be in steady decline until 2020 when he'll be begged to return then single-handedly transform an almost dead company into the world's most successful device and media brand?
  • Reply 12 of 60
    asciiascii Posts: 5,848member
    Perhaps they could have done something less severe than firing him, after all Job One is to make money for the shareholders. It's hard enough to find someone capable of running such a massive organisation without demanding that they also be a saint. Yes there have to be limits of course, but the standard can't be perfection (unless the organisation is a monastery but that's a special case).
  • Reply 13 of 60
    Business people on boards of big corporations should learn not to confuse personal affairs with business. Yes some of affairs conflict, but image of a person whao actually did not do wrong should be protected despite bad ppublicity driven by media fools and paparazis.





    Sorry to say this, but I find it idiotic if a business person on any level gets into details of sexual or social life of other professional... and what's more I do not tolerate that leaving from such place if confrontation does not bring result. Business is not family and never will be so put into socks claims like: "we are family". We are not!... and better be this way. That's business. What happens after hours is none of company business even if some feel this way.



    One needs to learn where the context switch is.
  • Reply 14 of 60
    Wow, it's not like Ellison to be outspoken!
  • Reply 15 of 60
    kerrybkerryb Posts: 270member
    I personally don't care who has sex with who as long as they have not broken the law involving under-age persons. The woman that received a settlement has been doing interviews and who knows may be able to stretch her 15 minutes into a reality show.
  • Reply 16 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "The HP board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago," Ellison wrote. "That decision nearly destroyed Apple and would have if Steve hadn't come back and saved them."



    HP Staff has made major poor decisions before. One of them thought that a small computer wouldn't go anywhere and allowed one of their engineers to go off and start his own company.



    That engineer is named Steve Wozniak, and with partner Steve Jobs, they started in January 1977 what would become Apple, Inc. (a month before the company for whom I work started).



    In the middle of Stagflation and a Recession, what a time to start a company...
  • Reply 17 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Like HP's been doing anything remotely interesting.



    they just bought palm
  • Reply 18 of 60
    kpluckkpluck Posts: 500member
    Actually, the idiots here are the morons that like to use hindsight and say it was a mistake to fire Steve Jobs back in the day because of how well Apple is doing now.



    The fact is Jobs made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot between the time he was fired and then rehired at Apple. The decision to let him go at the time was the correct one.



    -kpluck
  • Reply 19 of 60
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    ... Larry Elison is no saint and he's probably just lashing out after his friend got caught doing something. ...



    Larry Ellison is an interesting personality. He clearly believes in Great Men, considering himself one, Steve Jobs another, perhaps Hurd, as well. He has at times what seems like strong principles and a clearly defined sense of right and wrong (e.g., his actions to wrest the America's Cup from Alinghi after they attempted to set up a sham Challenger of Record and rig the rules in their favor, and subsequent actions to insure fair play for the next round of Cup challenges.), yet, at other times, and particularly in Oracle's business dealings, he seems outright dishonest (e.g., claiming that their software already includes some feature and giving a presentation on it where the 'screenshots' are clearly hastily mocked-up UIs where fields and field labels don't even line up properly). I don't really see this as a lashing out, but rather him expressing his genuine sense of outrage that the HP board has done something stupid, maybe because he does a lot of business with HP and thinks they'll muck that up, maybe just because he thinks it's truly stupid of them to get rid of a guy whom the company has done very well under. The latter would fit in with his Great Men view of the world, and he probably is worried they'll muck up his business dealings now, so probably a combination of personal outrage and business concerns on his part.
  • Reply 20 of 60
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Hurd temporarily took over as the head of HP in 2005 as the interim CEO. Then, in 2006, he took the position full-time after the previous chief executive, Patricia Dunn, resigned. Dunn stepped down after it was revealed she had authorized a team of independent security experts to investigate board members and journalists over an information leak that revealed the company's long-term strategy.



    This is wrong. It was Carly Fiorina who started the investigation of HP Board members. It was more than a simple investigation - there was spying and wiretapping involved. Dunn continued Fiorina's investigation, and was the one in charge when it was made public.
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