Naughty Tech Boss a Frat Boy To the End
Mark Hurd is paying dearly to roll with Oracle. The misbehaving former Hewlett Packard CEO will give up millions of dollars to settle an HP lawsuit and continue working with fellow bad boys at Oracle. He's an eternal bro.
Hurd is effectively relinquishing half of the severance he is owed by HP, the New York Times calculates, a severance that has been valued variously at $28 million, $35 million, and $40 million - $50 million. Giving up half that is quite a price to pay keep working at Oracle and to settle HP's lawsuit contesting his employment there.
One big benefit of sticking by Oracle: The company is unlikely complain about Hurd's extracurricular activities. It stuck steadfastly by co-president Charles Philips as an eight-year affair unraveled rather embarrassingly on billboards across the country. Ellison himself is known as a workplace lothario, and basically called HP a bunch of idiots for firing Hurd in an email to the New York Times. Though he left Hewlett Packard for falsifying expense reports, Hurd's misconduct was connected to his dealings with a soft-core porn actress who at one point accused him of sexual harassment.
So Ellison stuck by his bro Mark, and now Mark is sticking with Ellison, millions in HP severance be damned.
If it's wise from a long term career standpoint, Hurd's loyalty is also in keeping with his biography: "Brother Hurd" was president of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity at Baylor University, and said upon accepting an award from the fraternity that those were "some of the best and most important [days] of my life."
His frat days were apparently formative as well. A Fortune profile still carried on HP's website said Hurd relished "in telling raucous, naughty, dishy yarns."
He also liked to "quote long passages from favorite movies. Animal House and Gladiator rank high." Duly noted. Party on, Mark, with your new brothers. Party on.
[Photo of Hurd at Oracle OpenWorld, 2006 via AP]