Patrick Oster (Bloomberg) -- Mark Hurd, who was chief executive officer of three major technology companies including Oracle Corp., has died. He was 62.
Larry Ellison, Oracle’s chairman, confirmed his passing in an online post.
“It is with a profound sense of sadness and loss that I tell everyone here at Oracle that Mark Hurd passed away early this morning,” Ellison wrote. “Mark was my close and irreplaceable friend, and trusted colleague. Oracle has lost a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle.”
Oracle announced Sept. 11 that Hurd had begun a leave of absence for unspecified heath-related reasons. The company couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Friday.
Hurd began his career in 1980 as a salesman for National Cash Register Corp. (now NCR), before rising in the ranks to the CEO post. In 2005, he was hired away as CEO by Hewlett-Packard Co., then the world’s biggest personal-computer maker. Hurd joined Oracle as a co-president in 2010, after resigning from HP when it determined he violated company standards by filing inaccurate expense reports to conceal a personal relationship with a contractor.
During his Oracle tenure, Hurd produced solid revenue and profits as the Redwood City, California-based company’s stock price hit an historic high in 2019. He was also a key driver in Oracle’s turn from an old model of licensing software toward the use of cloud computing, a burgeoning business dominated by rivals Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp.
When he hired Hurd, Ellison said, “There is no executive in the IT world with more relevant experience than Mark.” Ellison described Hurd’s dismissal by HP as the “worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs.”
Hurd was co-president at Oracle with Safra Catz. He focused on sales, marketing and press and investor relations, while she ran finances and legal matters.