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Oracle's Hurd Mentality

Mark Hurd's 'qualities' will suit Oracle well.

Updated with Hewlett-Packard's court action to block Mark Hurd's path to Oracle.



) --


(ORCL) - Get Oracle Corporation Report

got its man: Mark V. Hurd, the ethics-tainted, staff slasher who was recently drummed out of


(HPQ) - Get HP Inc. Report


And here's the good part -- Wall Street could hardly be happier.

Oracle shares shot up 6% Tuesday on news that CEO Larry Ellison found a place for his friend Hurd in the organization.

HP, however isn't pleased that its former chief has gone over to a top competitor.

HP has filed a lawsuit

in a California court charging that the move to Oracle violates the confidentiality terms of his exit agreement, according the

The Wall Street Journal

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'Please go away, but don't go to Oracle with our trade secrets,' HP attempts to say in its lawsuit.

Oracle taps HP's former CEO, Mark Hurd

Investors liked the Oracle move Tuesday, clearly sensing that Hurd could bring a sharp ax to prune employees as Oracle continues its acquisitive style.

Hurd honed his firing skills -- or earned his chops, as you could say -- during his half decade running HP. Hurd cut the staff by 17,000 employees, or 5.2%, between October 2008 and October 2009. Many of those cuts came in the aftermath of HP's $13.9 billion acquisition of



Hurd's across-the-board cutting policy put him at odds with HP employees and the Silicon Valley technology community who felt HP's profit push was short sighted and a death knell for the vaunted research and development organization.

But Hurd's hard-charging bottom line discipline didn't cost him any points among investors. While computer sector peers like


(DELL) - Get Dell Technologies Inc Class C Report



(MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report



(INTC) - Get Intel Corporation Report

slumped, HP rose nearly 90% during Hurd's five-year run.

Never mind that Hurd

abruptly left HP

with a $12.2 million severance deal on August 6 after the board's internal investigation found that the CEO had violated the company's trust and ethics policies. Hurd reportedly settled a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a female contractor. And the HP board reportedly decided that the negative fallout surrounding Hurd's so-called scandal would tarnish the company.

Fittingly, Hurd replaces Charles Phillips, an Oracle executive whose own private life became public after his jilted mistress launched a billboard campaign to expose their affair.

The upshot: Oracle and Hurd are a perfect pairing. Even Wall Street can see they deserve each other.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.>To contact this writer, click here: Scott Moritz, or email: follow Scott on Twitter, go to>To send a tip, email: