He's well regarded by Wall Street for turning the company from a bureaucratic has-been to a market leader again. In the first 2 1/2 years of Hurd's tenure as leader, H-P's stock increased 137%. For the last two years, however, H-P's stock performance has been mediocre, dropping 5%. Although that was better than the Nasdaq, it tracked that index very closely over that period.
While Hurd deserves credit for turning this company around in the early part of his tenure by slashing costs and increasing focus, there are some very troubling aspects about how he, his management team and his board approach executive compensation and governance that suggest investors should steer clear of this Silicon Valley icon until it gets its act together.
Although H-P's performance has hit the wall in the past two years, Hurd's pay -- and the pay of his management team members -- has dramatically increased. For 2008, Hurd's total compensation reached $43 million, which made him the fourth highest paid CEO in America for 2008. Hurd's total compensation increased 73% from his $25 million in 2007, even though H-P's stock price declined 29% in 2008.On his senior management team, the sharp compensation increases in 2008 were also noteworthy. CIO Randy Mott's total compensation went up 400% last year to $28 million. Imaging EVP VJ Joshi's total compensation jumped 83% to $22 million. Personal Systems EVP Todd Bradley's total compensation jumped 263% to $21 million. Technology Solutions' EVP Ann Livermore enjoyed a 31% bump in total compensation to $21 million. And CFO Catherine Lesjak got a 49% increase in total compensation to a more modest $6 million.