5 reasons HP's Mark Hurd resigned
The official rationale for the former CEO's departure is vague
Computerworld - The official reason for Mark Hurd's resignation as chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co. over an allegation of sexual harassment left a lot of questions unanswered.
Hurd's resignation was announced after the close of markets Friday by HP's board of directors, which said that he ran afoul of the company's business conduct rules.
But didn't HP have other options than an abrupt departure by its top executive and the unwelcome attention such a move was bound to make on HP? Or did Hurd's problem present the company with an opportunity for change, an opportunity that it took?
Here are five reasons why Hurd left HP and what's ahead for this company.
HP's board wanted a change in leadership
Hurd's chief task at HP became surviving the recession and preparing the company for growth. He cut thousands of employees and worker salaries across the board. The company consolidated its own operations, taking 85 data centers down to six.
It was tough and scarring work, and the company may have wanted a new face to lead a leaner HP.
Hurd's focus on operations may have run its course
The board may have been asking itself whether Hurd was the best person to integrate HP's recent string of acquisitions -- including Palm and 3Com -- and keep ahead of the industry's fast pivot to mobile, Android and the cloud. It wants an innovator.
HP's interest in a CEO with a little more of Steve Jobs' DNA may have been telegraphed Friday, when HP signaled a new approach with Marc Andreessen. A member of HP's board, Andreessen may best be known for his work on developing browser technologies and co-founding Netscape, but he also gave HP some key server and data center automation technologies with the sale in 2007 of a firm he chaired, Opsware, for $1.6 billion. Andreessen is a Silicon Valley icon with a record of innovation.
And it was Andreessen who acted as the HP board spokesman when investment analysts were summoned for the call late Friday with this news. Andreessen was a particularly strong voice on the call, calling Hurd's removal "necessary," and telling those on the phone that "HP is not about any one person."
Andreessen is on the board's CEO search committee. If Friday's call is any indication, then it is Andreessen who may define what HP is seeking in its next CEO and for the company.
Cathy Lesjack, HP's CFO and now Hurd's temporary replacement, will carry a consistent message to Wall Street and is not seeking the CEO's job.
The strong CEO and chairman model wasn't working
Hurd is the second consecutive CEO at HP to leave on rocky terms -- and HP has to be worried about the third strike rule. Hurd's predecessor, former CEO Carly Fiorina left her post in 2005 after disagreements with the board over strategy. Hurd's resignation may be about an internal desire to restructure HP's top jobs and redistribute power as a way to to make room for different approaches.
- HP says never mind about June 3D printer announcement
- Create Magical Vendor Presentations Using Analytics, TED and Steve Jobs
- Review + videos: 3 convertible Windows laptops try to be all devices to all people
- Reviews: HP's EliteBook 840 and Logitech's ConferenceCam CC3000e
- Helping Data Centers to Cope With Big Data Workloads
- HP upgrade project meets a NASA that's 'resistant to change'
- Power to the portable: 3 high-performance mobile workstations
- 3 Powerful Laptops Built for Serious Business
- As Twitter hires, HP fires
- Perspective: Microsoft's CEO pick will be dubbed a dud, bragged as brilliant
- Study: Total Economic Impact of Google Apps Employees can work faster and IT spending can decrease when companies switch to Google Apps, says a commissioned study by Forrester Consulting. Going...
- Protecting Digitalized Assets in Healthcare Healthcare providers face an urgent, internal battle every day: security and compliance versus productivity and service. For most healthcare organizations, the fight is...
- Is a SaaS Deployment Right for You? Find out the answer and as well as the other deployment options.
- Discover How Mail Express Solves 2 of Your Biggest IT Headaches Email. It can be the source of some of IT's biggest headaches. As it eats up storage and bandwidth, it also opens up...
- Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing...
- Video surveillance for IT: maximum image quality, minimum bandwidth Join us on Thursday, May 8th at 1 p.m. EST when Willem Ryan, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Avigilon, will discuss how IT... All Management White Papers | Webcasts