Some people speculated that Mark Hurd joined Oracle Corp. to get back at his former employer, Hewlett-Packard Co., but at a conference, he described other reasons for taking the job.
“When I left HP, I thought about sitting it out for a while,” Hurd said at the FireGlobal conference in Seattle. He said he received calls from companies in bad shape that wanted him to join and help turn them around.
“That didn’t really motivate me,” he said.
Oracle, which he thought “strategically was in such great shape,” asked him on board to align its operations and make sure its strategy gets executed, he said. That would put him in a different position than he’d been in before and looked like a great opportunity, he said.
Oracle’s strong intellectual property was also a draw. “It is the IP that truly attracted me,” he said.
Hurd didn’t otherwise speak about the scandal that led to his resignation from HP in August, following allegations of sexual harassment from a former HP contractor. Shortly after he resigned, Hurd took a position as co-president at Oracle, one of HP’s biggest rivals.
He touched on a variety of other topics. Applications, operating systems and hardware are becoming more tightly vertically integrated, he said, basically describing Oracle’s product strategy. That said, “Oracle will continue to componentize all of its solutions so we can work in a heterogeneous environment,” Hurd said.
He warned people to be careful with the cloud. Enterprises seem unconcerned about the equipment being used to deliver cloud services, he said, even though they want to know all about the hardware and software they purchase to run applications in-house.
“We’ve trained people to talk about these detailed levels of components, but for some reason in the cloud it doesn’t matter,” Hurd said.
Offering a bit of insight into the day-to-day life at Oracle, he called Larry Ellison “the head R&D guy at Oracle.”
“Whatever the perception is, he is active and driving the R&D agenda at the company.”