Former HP CEO Mark Hurd Headed to Oracle?

Hewlett-Packard Co. new president and CEO Mark Hurd, center, gestures as he sits next to Patricia Dunn, left, HP's non-executive chairwoman, during a news conference at HP headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., Wednesday, March 30, 2005. AP

Mark Hurd, who resigned as Hewlett Packard's chief executive officer last month after sexual harassment allegations, has been talking about a senior post with Oracle, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Former HP CEO Mark Hurd
AP

The Journal said details about the job discussions remained unclear and that the negotiations between Hurd and Oracle might still fall through. But if successful, it would be a stunning turn in what has already been a tumultuous month for Hurd.

In Silicon Valley Hurd had been regarded as one of its most successful executives. He was widely credited with steering HP back to steady growth and profitability following the tumult during the previous stewardship of Carly Fiorina, who he succeeded as chief executive. But in August, Hurd resigned suddenly after the board of directors concluded that he had violated the company's code of business conduct in connection with his relationship with a former marketing contractor who worked with HP.

Landing a heavyweight like Hurd would be a coup for Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who voiced his public displeasure with HP's board, saying, saying it had "made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago." One post not up for consideration is the top spot. Quoting one unidentified source, the Journal report says that Ellison does not plan to vacate he CEO seat.

At this point, Hurd can afford to be choosy until he finds something to his liking. He received almost $28 million in severance from HP.

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    Charles Cooper is an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet. E-mail Charlie.

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