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  1.    #1  
    The NYTimes today has an article that talks about how Hurd alienated more than two thirds of his workers while damaging HP's reputation. It provides important details and background for why he was fired.

    For months before Hurd was fired by HP's board, I'd been banging the drum about HP being a company run by pea brained bean counters.

    Hurd succeeded in raising the stock's price and in enriching himself in great part by slashing both R&D and HP''s american personnel.

    As was talked about in the recently closed thread, HP's reputation for quality, reliability, and willingness to stand by its products, is abysmal.

    Historically (before Carly Fiorina), HP was a company renowned for its engineering and for the care and responsibility it took for its employees.

    How do you compensate CEO's so that they are motivated by something other than short term earnings targets -- by something other than meeting and beating investment analysts' quarterly profit forecasts ??

    How can CEO's be rewarded primarily by long term success ??


    Real Reason for Ousting H.P.’s Chief
    By JOE NOCERA NY Times

    ...Then there were the company’s employees. The consensus in Silicon Valley is that Mr. Hurd was despised at H.P., not just by the rank and file, but even by H.P.’s top executives. (Perhaps this explains why Ms. Lesjak was so quick to denigrate him once she took over.) “He was a cost-cutter who indulged himself,” was one description I heard. His combined compensation for just his last two years was more than $72 million — a number that absolutely outraged employees since their jobs were the ones being cut.

    Rob Enderle, a well-known technology consultant, noted that in recent internal surveys, nearly two-thirds of H.P. employees said they would leave if they got an offer from another company — a staggering number. “He didn’t have the support of his people,” Mr. Enderle said. Although he was good at “holding executives’ feet to the fire, he seemed to be the only one benefiting from H.P.’s success,” Mr. Enderle continued...

    After Mr. Hurd’s resignation, an anonymous H.P. employee wrote on the Internet: “Mr. Hurd cares about one thing, how much money is in it for him. As an H.P. employee I see it every day. We don’t have the tools to do our job, but he isn’t doing without anything, and doesn’t care.”

    Charles House, a former longtime H.P. engineer who now runs a research program at Stanford University, openly rejoiced when he heard that Mr. Hurd was leaving. “I think the sexual harassment charge was a total red herring,” Mr. House told me. He didn’t care. “I was delighted,” he said.

    Mr. House’s brief against Mr. Hurd went well beyond his outsize compensation and penchant for cost-cutting. As Mr. House saw it — indeed, as many H.P. old-timers saw it — Mr. Hurd was systematically destroying what had always made H.P. great. The way H.P. made its numbers, Mr. House said, was not just cutting any old costs, but by “chopping R.&D.,” which had always been sacred at H.P. The research and development budget used to be 9 percent of revenue, Mr. House told me; now it was closer to 2 percent. “In the personal computer group, it is seven-tenths of 1 percent,” he added. “That’s why H.P. had no response to the iPad.”

    Mr. House was also offended by Mr. Hurd’s dictum that H.P. executives had to resign from all civic boards, as well as his decision to cut off many of H.P.’s philanthropic activities. “H.P. has always been a model corporate citizen,” Mr. House said.

    Plus, he said, Mr. Hurd was “incredibly rude and demeaning, and relied on the fear factor.” Mr. House summed up the Hurd era this way, “He was wrecking our image, personally demeaning us, and chopping our future.”

    ...putting up dazzling short-term numbers that have the effect of enriching himself while robbing H.P.’s future — isn’t that what a C.E.O. should be fired for? Firing Mr. Hurd for that reason, however, would have taken courage, something that has always been in short supply on the H.P. board...

    ...Mr. Hurd was a brilliant operational executive, but had the strategic sense of a gnat, and knew only how to cut costs...


    This graphic shows how far HP's quality has fallen:





    This graphic shows how popular Hurd was with his workers compared to other tech executives:


    Last edited by BARYE; 08/14/2010 at 05:22 PM.
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  2. #2  
    He came in and laid off 10,000 people. It takes a long time for a CEO to get past something like that with his/her workforce.

    Sounds like he wasn't the nicest guy, but when it comes down to it he helped HP's bottom line. Funny, it seems the more successful the CEO career wise the more the employees don't like him/her.
    Palm Vx -> Treo 600 -> Treo 700p -> Centro -> Pre (Launch Phone 06/06/09) -> AT&T Pre Plus with Sprint EVDO swap -> Samsung Epic 4G w/ Froyo
  3.    #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by NickDG View Post
    He came in and laid off 10,000 people. It takes a long time for a CEO to get past something like that with his/her workforce.

    Sounds like he wasn't the nicest guy, but when it comes down to it he helped HP's bottom line. Funny, it seems the more successful the CEO career wise the more the employees don't like him/her.
    Agreed -- coming in and firing people is not a good way to introduce yourself. (Especially after the 50,000 that Fiorina fired).

    But Hurd did not stop there -- he continued to fire HP employees, and even more aggressively transfered jobs overseas to India.

    Internally he was routinely referred to as Hurd the Turd, not just because of how he made a mantra of cutting jobs -- but because he slashed research and development spending as well -- while providing no genuine leadership or direction for the company.

    He was CEO of company famous for its engineering who slashed engineers, slashed research.

    The board was right to fire Hurd -- the sex harassment scandal was just an excuse.

    The post below shows that anger toward Hurd continued well past those initial firing. This review of Hurd came from a senior manager, and was posted Feb 2009:


    Hurd is a Turd
    Feb 24, 2009

    Good times = 1% salary increase at best while other benefits are slashed to prop up earnings and Hurd's outrageous compensation package.

    Bad times = 5% salary reduction coupled with elimination of 401k matching funds and ESPP

    In terms of working environment, there is zero focus on strategy development, comprehensive action plans, and robust and repeatable processes. A job at HP is about what I would expect as working for the government of the United States -- entirely too political with meaningless impact on the greater good.

    Top management suffers from ADD, with practically a new strategy advanced every few months which causes massive amounts of thrash and productivity hits.

    Advice to Senior Management:

    Hurd only cares about driving EPS growth short term without regard to long-term positioning and sustainability. This means he is pumping up his bonus by slashing employees benefits. In fact, the more he cuts employee compensation and benefits, the more his bonus increases. The board of directors needs to step in and restrict Hurd's options to vest after 10 years to ensure HP is positioned for success in the long term and seal his commitment for long term success. Additionally, 50% of Hurds compensation need to be tied to employee job satisfaction as its people that make HP successful long-term and not Mark Hurd. The run is nearly over, so I would bet that Hurd is out in the next 18 months leaving the company in shambles as the best and brightest bolt for companies that support and care about their employees.
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  4.    #4  
    further evidence that Hurd was fired for reasons other than sexual harassment. The case for that was very weak:


    Accuser in HP case claimed work was cut
    By JORDAN ROBERTSON, AP Technology Writer
    Wed Aug 18, 2010

    SAN FRANCISCO – The woman whose sexual harassment allegations led to the ouster of former Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Mark Hurd claimed her work with the company dried up because she rebuffed Hurd's advances, a person close to the investigation told The Associated Press.

    The substance of the complaint that led to Hurd's resignation from the world's largest technology company had not been publicly known until late Tuesday...

    Fisher, 50, is an actress and businesswoman who helped HP organize networking events for customers and introduced executives to each other. She and Hurd would often dine together after the events.

    HP determined that Hurd didn't violate the company's sexual harassment policies in his interactions with Fisher. But the company said it did find falsified expense reports connected to those meetings, and said those led to the board's unanimous decision to seek Hurd's resignation. Hurd says he didn't prepare his own expenses and that Fisher's name was not intentionally left off any reports.

    He resigned August 6 and was given a severance package that could top $40 million...

    Fisher worked more than a dozen events in her two years with HP, the bulk of which occurred in her first year, according to the person with knowledge of the investigation. She was paid up to $5,000 per event.

    Her work dwindled in the second year because HP's marketing budget was cut and had nothing to do with her relationship with Hurd, the person said.

    Hurd settled with Fisher for an undisclosed amount before his resignation.

    HP had urged Hurd for weeks to settle the case, and Hurd eventually agreed because his lawyers convinced him it would be cheaper than taking the case to trial, according to the person close to the investigation.

    Hurd had decided to step down a week before the resignation was announced because the board wanted to publicly disclose the harassment allegation based on advice from a public relations firm and lawyers, even though the company's investigation found the claims to be without merit, the person said.

    Hurd claims he still doesn't have an accounting for all the expenses he is alleged to have falsified.

    AP source: Accuser in HP case claimed work was cut - Yahoo! News
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  5. #5  
    I personally think he was canned because he "didn't by Palm to be in the smartphone business."
    My device history:

    - Jim J.

    (On Sprint for many years)
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by NickDG View Post
    He came in and laid off 10,000 people. It takes a long time for a CEO to get past something like that with his/her workforce.

    Sounds like he wasn't the nicest guy, but when it comes down to it he helped HP's bottom line. Funny, it seems the more successful the CEO career wise the more the employees don't like him/her.
    Steve Jobs seems very popular and his company is very profitable.
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by ADGrant View Post
    Steve Jobs seems very popular and his company is very profitable.
    While jobs is popular with wallstreet, and the media, I can see alot of employees not liking him.
  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by nimer55 View Post
    While jobs is popular with wallstreet, and the media, I can see alot of employees not liking him.

    yes, at least 2% of Apple's workers disapprove of him


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  9. #9  
    Guess I was wrong.. 2% is really good.
  10.    #10  
    speaking of Apple -- some are advocating that HP attempt to transform itself with an infusion of some of the Apple spirit and energy that once animated HP:



    HP Needs Transfusion of Apple's Juice
    Glenn Hall
    08/16/10
    PALO ALTO, Calif. (TheStreet)

    HP(HPQ), once a source of inspiration for Apple (AAPL), now needs a transfusion of its original product DNA.

    A succession of HP leaders -- from Carly Fiorina to Mark Hurd -- have looked everywhere but within the company itself to get the right products and live up to the company's heritage of innovation. Fiorina infamously bought Compaq and Hurd brought Palm into the family...

    HP once led the pack in this regard and served as an early model for Apple CEO Steve Jobs, instilling in him a laser focus on creating products that delight and engage customers to the point of mobilizing an incredibly loyal following. In fact, Apple's other co-founder, Steve Wozniak, was working at HP before he teamed with Jobs.

    In a 2004 interview with Businessweek, Jobs said he and Wozniak "got our view of what a technology company should be while working for HP in the late 1960s and early 1970s. And the first rule over there was to build great products."
    ...

    ...HP doesn't need another efficiency expert like Mark Hurd or a merger maniac like Fiorina as much as it needs someone who can inspire and motivate HP's demoralized workforce and get the company focused on innovations that consumers want.

    To quote co-founder William Hewlett, "the creative process is also an essential ingredient for increased productivity and improved quality."

    Early scuttlebutt in the markets pointed to the possibility of HP wooing someone from Apple like COO Tim Cook. That's not a bad choice...

    Cook would be an outsider with an insider's understanding, since he previously served as a vice president at Compaq. But as a sales and operations guy at Apple and a procurement and inventory guy at Compaq, he may not bring the visionary magic that HP needs.

    Maybe it's time for former Apple Evangelist Guy Kawasaki to step out of the Garage, a venture capital group focused on early-stage technology companies, and put his motivational style and customer focus to work for HP.

    Some may recall that Kawasaki once carried the official title of "Evangelist" at Apple and, as he puts it in his blog GuyKawasaki.com, his last duty at Apple was to "rejuvenate the Macintosh cult."

    That's the kind of leader HP needs, someone to rejuvenate and evangelize.

    These days, it seems like most of those kinds of people come from Apple, but they once came from HP.

    HP Needs Leader Like Apple's Steve Jobs - TheStreet
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  11.    #11  
    In the month or two since Hurd the Turd was dismissed from HP, the consensus as to his value as a CEO has begun to move inexorably toward mine -- which is that he was a bad CEO who alienated his workers by cutting HP's american workforce and outsourcing their jobs to places like India, while at the same time slashing R & D -- which is the lifeblood for tech companies like HP. That ultimately his tactics depended on growing his company not by internal development and creativity, but through acquisition.

    This was a strategy that won him approval on Wall Street where he was applauded for meeting and beating short term profit and revenue forecasts.

    But in an industry where (to paraphrase) what was once famously said of another tech giant, HP's primary assets leave the building every night to have dinner -- this is a short term gain at long term cost.

    Hewlitt and Packard cared both for R & D and their employees -- they would have been appalled by Hurd and Fiorina.


    3Par: Pyrrhic Victory for HP or Strategic Defeat for Dell?
    By Rob Enderle
    TechNewsWorld 09/06/10

    Mark Hurd Backstory

    ...At the core of the problem for HP is its ex-CEO, because his departure timing screwed up the company's initial bidding for 3Par, allowing Dell to win the first round and resulting in a bidding war. Had HP been able to respond powerfully enough initially and win that round instead of Dell, Dell would have been less likely to respond, and the final bid would have more likely ended up closer to the $18 per share initial valuation for the company.

    In addition, the risk of employee loss is tightly tied to Mark Hurd's sacrifice of employee loyalty for short-term economic results -- he made record layoffs while there -- is what gave HP the lowest-measured employee satisfaction and loyalty in the industry. This is what likely goes to the core of the massive bleeding coming out of Palm, and why that company appears to be turning into a shell that is worth a fraction of what HP paid for it.

    In addition, Hurd's massive cuts in R&D are what probably made HP late to the game with respect to even looking at a technology company like 3Par as IBM, which has retained a higher percentage of its R&D, was able to buy similar XIV for a fraction of what HP paid for 3Par. The IBM investment is rumored to have already doubled in value.

    It is amazing to realize that Hurd, who had been thought to be HP's most successful CEO ever, may actually eclipse Carly Fiorina as the least successful CEO in HP's history. Given there are supposedly a number of financial analysts suggesting Dell hire him (Michael Dell isn't that stupid), it puts an exclamation point behind a building backlash against CEOs like Hurd, who seemed to be laying off employees simply to better assure their own income.

    As a side note, it is truly amazing how quickly Mark Hurd changed from hero to villain
    ...



    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    The NYTimes today has an article that talks about how Hurd alienated more than two thirds of his workers while damaging HP's reputation. It provides important details and background for why he was fired.

    For months before Hurd was fired by HP's board, I'd been banging the drum about HP being a company run by pea brained bean counters.

    Hurd succeeded in raising the stock's price and in enriching himself in great part by slashing both R&D and HP''s american personnel.

    As was talked about in the recently closed thread, HP's reputation for quality, reliability, and willingness to stand by its products, is abysmal.

    Historically (before Carly Fiorina), HP was a company renowned for its engineering and for the care and responsibility it took for its employees.

    How do you compensate CEO's so that they are motivated by something other than short term earnings targets -- by something other than meeting and beating investment analysts' quarterly profit forecasts ??

    How can CEO's be rewarded primarily by long term success ??
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  12. groovy's Avatar
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    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    How do you compensate CEO's so that they are motivated by something other than short term earnings targets -- by something other than meeting and beating investment analysts' quarterly profit forecasts ??

    How can CEO's be rewarded primarily by long term success ??
    First, you have to have a board motivated by something other than short term earnings. Maybe start with a board that's got more tech industry experience than it has private equity or venture capital--or at least as much. This guy may be a turd but he didn't write his own contract and he didn't make decisions in a vacuum.
  13.    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    First, you have to have a board motivated by something other than short term earnings. Maybe start with a board that's got more tech industry experience than it has private equity or venture capital--or at least as much. This guy may be a turd but he didn't write his own contract and he didn't make decisions in a vacuum.
    I entirely agree.

    The trouble though, is that Wall Street LOVED this guy.

    He was lauded for slashing HP's personnel, for being a supposedly skin flint cost cutter.

    The Street is built on price targets being met and beaten -- the lies and cheats behind those "achievements are likely only revealed much later.
    (remember how Dell beat its forecasts using Intel "bribe" money ...)

    Contrast Apple -- which has achieved success while being largely indifferent to Wall Street gossip (even when it concerns Steve's health). (They are even indifferent to BARYE's demands and expectations !!!)

    Apple, for all its flaws -- has focused like a laser on innovation, product surprise, and developing self reinforcing ecosystems -- knowing the only real metric for sustained profitability is creating stuff that people crave.
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