The Forgettable Mr. Mark Hurd

13 Aug

In 1939 when the wet-behind-the-ears William Hewlett and David Packard produced an electronic gizmo for Walt Disney’s production of Fantasia in their now memorialized garage, they were truly trailblazers. Just as Carnegie and Mellon echo in the rich history of fire-hewn Pittsburgh denizens, Hewlett-Packard resonate with the paler, geekier California set.

Mark Hurd, disgraced ex-CEO of H-P, is a less-than-minor player in the history of Silicon Valley, somewhere beneath the legendary flameout Michael Spindler, an Apple CEO from the forgettable 1990s, but possibly above Ralph Ungermann, the savvy CEO of Ungermann-Bass in the 1980s. Hurd’s alleged craven antics are so pedestrian as to be laughable, except when you consider that so many people inside the company seem to hate him and the Feds seem to want to prosecute the business. I think the H-P board did a smart thing by tossing Hurd out before his minor malfeasance morphed into something more heinous.

My old boss Don Tennant argues that Ann Livermore, EVP of the company’s Enterprise Business group, should replace Hurd. Knowing Don’s good instincts for good people and having met Livermore, I can’t argue with the choice. She’d be an excellent CEO and, likely, a much more compelling figure in the future history of Silicon Valley.


One Response to “The Forgettable Mr. Mark Hurd”


  1. Larry’s Instincts « Croisan Views - September 6, 2010

    […] Larry Ellison once again burnishes his idiosyncratic reputation among Silicon Valley bigwigs. Hurd, one of the least liked executives in the Valley, who left his former post under a cloud, must be grateful to Oracle’s leader for […]

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