Oracle President Mark Hurd Being Considered for Microsoft CEO Position – It has been rumored, reported, and confirmed by Mark Hurd, that he is being considered to replace Steve Ballmer as Microsoft’s next CEO. While this recent CNBC interview of Mark Hurd doesn’t add much fuel to the rumor fire, Mr. Hurd does confirm that he’s been contacted by Microsoft.
Mark Hurd has had an impressive career. While he was CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HP) from 2005 to 2010, HP’s stock more than doubled in value and it has been a disaster ever since… Mr. Hurd had a reputation for aggressive cost-cutting and improving HP’s margins. As CEO of HP, he made some major acquisitions including EDS, 3Com, and Palm. He also ended up being forced out of HP due to some cloudy ethics issues involving a female vendor and sexual harassment charges. Since then, Mr. Hurd moved on to become President of Oracle, working for Larry Ellison.
So while HP shareholders appreciated how Hurd was able to drive up the share price, I’m not sure I really see much of that “visionary leadership” that many feel is needed at Microsoft. Aggressive cost-cutting helps the bottom line, but does not speak to positioning a technology company for leadership. The performance of HP since Mr. Hurd’s departure does not indicate that his strategies and acquisitions put them into a good long-term position. As of late, Oracle also seems to be lagging some of its core competitors such as SAP when it comes to keeping up or staying ahead of key technology trends such as cloud, in-memory computing, and mobility. Perhaps Mr. Hurd is better suited to be Microsoft’s next COO rather than that next visionary CEO.
Why Not Bill McDermott as the Next Microsoft CEO? – First of all, I’ve not seen anything that references consideration of Bill McDermott for the Microsoft CEO job. However, after writing the above post on Mark Hurd, I began to ponder the interesting possibility of SAP’s co-CEO as the next Microsoft CEO. McDermott who is anticipated to become the sole CEO of SAP at the end of the year when fellow co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe retires, started at SAP in 2002 as President of SAP America. McDermott has had a truly remarkable career at SAP that has been marked by success every step of the way. While McDermott’s roots are sales, he is a very effective and dynamic leader that has also helped SAP make some bold, dare I say visionary, moves into “hot” enterprise application areas (before they were “hot”) such as in-memory database computing, analytics, mobility, and, to some degree, cloud. Certainly, SAP’s cloud strategy seems to be working based on their Q3 earnings results announced this week. Also, under McDermott’s leadership SAP developed a much more strategic partnership with Microsoft. To be sure, the Microsoft job is bigger than co-running SAP. However, when compared to some of the other candidates Microsoft appears to be considering such as Mark Hurd and Alan Mulally (currently CEO of Ford Motor Company), I think McDermott could be a really interesting choice.
That’s the Best for today. Please chime in if you feel I missed something or you like/dislike my takes (I’m ok either way).
ERP Ready, Inc.