There’s some mild good news for unemployment numbers here in Silicon Valley. At least one recently unemployed individual found himself a high tech job with good pay, perks, and benefits. Mark Hurd, who was forced to resign as head honcho at Hewlett Packard last month, has taken on a new position as President of Oracle.
The move was made possible with the resignation of Oracle’s former president, Charles Phillips. Phillips was recently embroiled in a extra-marital affair, which became public when the woman he was seeing, YaVaughnie Wilkins, posted information about it on public billboards.
Hurd resigned from HP after facing a sexual harassment charge, of which he was cleared. The charge did lead to an investigation, however, after which HP claimed that Hurd had filed misleading expense reports. He resigned as a result, though his departure was controversial. At that time, The Business Insider reported that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said Hurd was fired because “HP’s board was too wimpy to weather the bad publicity that would accompany a bogus sexual harassment lawsuit.“
During his time at HP, Hurd helped to bring the company back from the brink and reestablish HP as a Silicon Valley powerhouse. He was rewarded for this with a $30 million compensation package.
Not one to spend his retirement quietly puttering about his garden, Hurd was soon picked up by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who asked him to assume the reins of the company as its president. In addition, Hurd was also offered a seat on Oracle’s Board of Directors. He will effectively be co-president, serving alongside Safra Catz. If the model under Phillips is maintained, Hurd will be in charge of sales and marketing, while Catz will oversee finances and operations.
The hire has raised some eyebrows however, because of the terms of Hurd’s contract with HP, and how his sudden move to Oracle might present a conflict of interests. According to his contract, Hurd is barred from disclosing any sensitive information about HP for a period of 24 months. While HP is significantly larger than Oracle, the two have sometimes competed, though there was talk of cooperation between them too. Oracle and HP had originally discussed purchasing Sun Microsystems together, but in the end, only Oracle made the acquisition. Shortly after this, it canceled a business partnership between HP and Sun.
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