Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Co-President Mark Hurd, now Oracle’s co-president, told CNBC Monday he had a “great run” at H-P and expressed well wishes for its new CEO.
“We had six great years,” he said. “I wish Meg [Whitman] all the best.”
An ethics scandal forced Hurd to step down as the head of Hewlett-Packard in August 2010. Leo Apotheker then took the helm, but was fired after just eleven months on the job. He has been replaced by former eBay CEO Meg Whitman.
Hurd, who became Oracle’s co-president shortly after he left Hewlett-Packard, struck a conciliatory note and didn’t rule out cooperation between the two companies.
“We have a lot of alliances that are also, in some parts of our portfolio, competitors,” he said, calling it “coopetition … you compete on one side, you cooperate on another.”
Hurd didn’t mention the recent battle with Autonomyover whether the British software firm ever shopped itself to Oracle. H-P since bought Autonomy, but Oracle’s CEO recently told investors that he had been pitched a sale of the company but walked away. Autonomy’s CEO has denied that a pitch took place.
Right now, Oracle's focus is stepping up its move into the hardware market. The company unveiled new all-in-one data center products at its annual technology and user conference in San Francisco this week. It also showed off the latest version of the company's SPARC Solaris computer and unveiled Oracle's new Exalytics data analysis machine.
Hurd thinks Oracle can provoke the same kind of love and loyalty for its products that Apple does.
”I think customers love our products,” he said.
There will be two billion smartphones on this planet “in very short order,” he said, and that means there will be a tremendous amount of mobile computer power in the hands of consumers.
“That requires a company like Oracle going in [and] helping our customers that have applications to be 20 years old, on average,” Hurd said. “We’ve got to be in a position to take this great portfolio, help them save money on one hand and help them innovate on the other.”
Hurd noted that the company spent $4.3 billion in research and development last year, and said it plans on spending at least that much in 2011.
Overall, Oracle's performance has been strong, he said.
“The continued maturation of the portfolio in product introductions—in software, in hardware, in engineered systems—gives us a pretty strong hand on the market,” he said. “We’re very optimistic.”
CNBC.com with wires
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