We are now hearing that Hurd will receive $40 million to $50 million in compensation as part of his exit because he voluntarily resigned, instead of the $27 million he would have gotten had the board fired him for cause.
It sure seems like the board had plenty of ammunition to fire Hurd. Instead, it chickened out and the played the "it's not you, it's me" golden handshake game to make it all go away as quickly and quietly as possible. H-P's board of directors is getting good at that game: It played it with Carly as well.
The warning signs of Mark Hurd having an entitlement issue have been around for some time. It's just that most people didn't want to believe they mattered. Nothing matters to most investors as long as the guy or gal is delivering the numbers.
Sometimes charisma and tough talk isn't enough. Mark Hurd did good work in getting Hewlett-Packard back on the rails. Yet we were all blinded by that initial success, and we stopped asking tough questions.Ironically for the H-P shareholders who loved Hurd's execution skills, he's not going to be around to integrate EDS, 3Com or Palm. That could spell "one-time" charges in the future. In my books, if you're piggish about the small stuff like expense reimbursements, you're going to be piggish about the big stuff. Mark Hurd flashed us warning signs predicting Friday's debacle. Most of us decided to ignore them. -- At the time of publication, Jackson held no positions in the stocks mentioned.
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