Good news in the Wall Street Journal that HP and Oracle have reached some agreement over Mark Hurd. It has been one of the more bemusing executive suite spats, or more accurately, boardroom spats on the HP side and Larry Ellison on the other.
As I noted in my report from Oracle OpenWorld, the two companies need each other. HP has an army of consultants around the world trained in Oracle, and it has the computers and the corporate relationships to run Oracle in the largest companies. While Oracle has developed some impressive new machines by tuning its software for Sun Solaris, Sun has been a bit on the sidelines for years now as its fate was uncertain.
Larry Ellison is not one to keep his feelings to himself. The demonstrative Oracle CEO proved that once again in an e-mail he sent to the New York Times castigating the HP board for asking Mark Hurd to step down following a sexual harassment suit and some fraudulent expense reports.
"The HP board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago," said Ellison. "That decision nearly destroyed Apple and would have if Steve hadn't come back and saved them."
August 6 will not go down as one of the better days in Hewlett-Packard history. Not only did HP lose a CEO who had offered stability following Carly Fiorina's rocky tenure as CEO, but it did so as part of a sensational scandal that won't fade quickly from memory.
When word got out Friday that Mark Hurd had resigned over a sexual harassment suit, HP stock fell 10 percent after the market closed. But the revelation Sunday that the marketing contractor who had filed the suit was Jodie Fisher, a B-movie actress and reality TV contestant, ensured that the scandal will have a long life. Fisher and Hurd settled on Thursday.
In case you hadn't heard, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has taken a pay cut. Kind of.
For Microsoft's fiscal 2009, Ballmer earned $1.28 million, down from $1.35 million a year earlier. But in a year in which Microsoft saw sales drop for the first time, Ballmer's salary actually rose, to about $655,000 from $640,000. Don't worry, though -- Ballmer's bonus was off $100,000 from last year's $600,000.