Oracle shows off art of war by hiring Mark Hurd

September 7, 2010

Larry Ellison has launched another phase of his long-standing battle with Silicon Valley. A Sun Tzu admirer, the Oracle boss roundly mocked the board of rival Hewlett-Packard when it forced out Chief Executive Mark Hurd last month. By hiring Hurd, Ellison backed up his words. He not only gains a well-regarded operations guru, he follows the Chinese general's sixth-century BC dictum "Know your enemy."

HP tries big buyback to quell investor discontent

August 30, 2010

Sometimes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Case in point: Hewlett-Packard. Like many tech concerns, it is sitting on a large cash pile. But the company's bidding war with Dell for control of 3PAR raises fears it may squander its $15 billion hoard on overpriced baubles. Promising to repurchase $10 billion of stock soothes investors. Refraining from such battles would be more effective.

HP’s deal mojo unrestrained by l’affaire Hurd

August 23, 2010

Mark Hurd, the Hewlett-Packard chief executive, turned out to be a man of hearty appetites -- including for deals. Before leaving HP earlier this month under a cloud, Hurd spearheaded an M&A tear that included the purchases of 3Com, Palm, and EDS. But any bankers worried that the tech group's appetite for deals might wane after Hurd's departure can breathe easier.

Did HP’s Hurd try too hard to please Wall St?

August 10, 2010

Hewlett-Packard's recently jettisoned boss worked hard to please Wall Street. Mark Hurd won over investors by aggressively buying rivals and cutting costs. The total return to shareholders under his tenure was more than 140 percent. But he may have left his successor with thin pickings.