Monday, September 6, 2010

Phillips and Hurd - one thing in common, but only one's at Oracle

Curiouser and curiouser.

I figured that I'd peek into Google Buzz tonight, and it's a good thing that I did, because Fuad Arshad shared some Oracle-related news from the New York Times.

When you dig a little below the surface, the news is mystifying.

What news? Namely, that Mark Hurd, formerly of Hewlett-Packard, had joined Oracle as a co-president. Normally this would mean that there would be three people in Oracle's crowded co-presidency...except for the fact that Oracle also chose to announce the resignation of one of two of the existing Oracle co-presidents, Charles Phillips.

The reason that the whole thing is seemingly mystifying is because Phillips privately expressed his desire to resign last December. In Phillips' timeline, this desire was expressed after he began divorce proceedings in 2008, but before Phillips became the talk of Times Square in January 2010 after pictures of Phillips and YaVaughnie Wilkins appeared on Times Square (and in other places).

Lest you've already forgotten, the whole reason that Hurd was available to join Oracle was because he resigned from Hewlett-Packard, apparently due to financial misstatements that resulted from HIS affair with a woman.

So why did Oracle trade one guy who was fooling around for another guy who was fooling around?

Or is that the whole story?

Reader of the Empoprise-BI blog will recall that Jean-Louis Gassée had some suspicions about Hurd's exit from Hewlett-Packard.

This is pure speculation on my part, but perhaps Hurd's move to Oracle has been planned for some time - maybe even since last December, when Larry Ellison realized that he needed someone to replace Phillips. Of course, this could not happen until Hurd left HP, and perhaps the financial issues, coupled with the animosity toward Hurd within HP that Gassée hinted at, were what drove Hurd toward the big red blob.

Man, I wish I were going to Oracle OpenWorld this year. Sudden last-minute changes can make things really interesting, especially at a forum like OpenWorld where a lot of companies in co-opetition with each other show up.
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