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Following the Hurd

If Mark can repeat his past HP performance, then Oracle’s stock is going to $55 in the next 5 years

You've got to love a good story with drama about money, sex and revenge.  As everyone in the tech industry knows, that's exactly the kind of story playing out with Mark Hurd, the former CEO from HP.  I for one expect this story to have a happy ending for Oracle and Mark, as well as for AppZero.  Here's why.

Under Hurd's leadership, HP has been the leader in sales of desktop computers since 2007, and laptop computers since 2006.  In 2008, again under the leadership of Hurd, HP saw its market share in inkjet and laser printers increase to 46% and 50.5%, respectively.

Hurd is a tireless competitor.  He told a reporter from Fortune that he gets up every California morning at 4:45 a.m., without an alarm clock, because competitors on the east coast are already awake.[1]

Love him or hate him, the impact of his leadership cannot be disputed.  When he started as CEO in 2005, HP's market cap was $46B.  The day before he resigned HP's market cap was close to $110B, which represents a 140% increase in 5 years. During his tenure, he led the company in creating $64B in value for HP's shareholders.

Unfortunately, the day he resigned the market cap declined...a lot.  $14B to be precise.  22% of the increase Hurd created walked out the door with him.  (There's either a good object lesson or joke in here somewhere about women, temptation, and repercussions that dates back to the Garden of Eden.  Either way, $14B can buy you a lot of apples.)  Seriously.

On the week that Mark joined Larry Ellison, Oracle's market cap went up $25B.  How happy do we think Larry and the Oracle shareholders are to find themselves in a situation where their gain and HP's loss combined to produce a net change in value of close to $40B in less than 30 days?  Ahhh, the thrill of competition.  Larry must feel like an archangel looking down on the garden as Mark floats up to join him in the heavens of Oracle.  And HP replaces Hurd with SAP castaway Léo Apotheker?  Even better.  Definitely good times at Oracle.

"Oracle Corp.'s first-quarter profit jumped 20%, aided by the addition of hardware sales from Sun Microsystems and demand for business software despite concerns about the strength of a recent rebound in corporate technology spending." Wall Street Journal Friday September 17, 2010.

It's clear that one of the ways Larry keeps score is via Oracle's market cap.  If Mark can repeat his past HP performance, then Oracle's stock is going to $55 in the next 5 years.

Enter AppZero with a prescription to get Solaris up and running.  For details read my next blog: AppZero prescribes virtual Viagra for Solaris

Reference

  1. Lashinsky, Adam (2009-03-03). "Mark Hurd's moment". Fortune. http://money.cnn.com/2009/02/27/news/companies/lashinsky_hurd.fortune/index.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-15.

More Stories By Greg O'Connor

Greg O'Connor is President & CEO of AppZero. Pioneering the Virtual Application Appliance approach to simplifying application-lifecycle management, he is responsible for translating Appzero's vision into strategic business objectives and financial results.

O'Connor has over 25 years of management and technical experience in the computer industry. He was founder and president of Sonic Software, acquired in 2005 by Progress Software (PRGS). There he grew the company from concept to over $40 million in revenue.

At Sonic, he evangelized and created the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) product category, which is generally accepted today as the foundation for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Follow him on Twitter @gregoryjoconnor.

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