HP puts Hurd at the helm


30 Mar 2005

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Mark Hurd, a 25-year veteran of NCR, has been revealed as Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) new chief executive officer and president, filling a post that had been vacant for less than two months. He replaces Carly Fiorina who left the company in February following “differences of opinion” with the HP board.

According to a statement from HP, the company’s board of directors voted unanimously to elect Hurd to the position of CEO and president. Patricia Dunn, who assumed the role of non-executive chairwoman after Fiorina’s departure, is expected to continue in this role.

The press announcement on HP’s website pointedly made no reference to Fiorina, whose six-year high-profile tenure at HP was controversial at times, notably when she oversaw the merger with Compaq Computer in what was then the biggest transaction involving technology companies. It emerged in the days after her departure that the decision to force her out was part of a carefully planned operation conceived by the board of directors.

Meanwhile Hurd takes up his post at the technology giant this Friday, having tendered his resignation with NCR, a company he has worked at in various capacities since 1980. During that time he has held several general management, sales and marketing and operations roles. Hurd was named president of NCR in 2001 and was given additional responsibilities as chief operating officer the following year.

Hurd’s stewardship of NCR was marked by efforts to improve operating efficiency, bolster the position of the company’s product line and build a strong leadership team. NCR’s financial results would appear to indicate that his strategy was successful. In the 2004 fiscal year, NCR revenue rose 7pc to US$6bn and net income increased almost fivefold to US$290m.

By Gordon Smith