Mark Jarvis, the first chief marketing officer of computer maker Dell, perfected his art at Oracle: Deny, deny, deny, and when denials fail, spin, spin, spin. He boldly slashes at the branding and advertising strategies of Dell's past while outlining, with Oracular swagger, his new strategy for Dell. He says, of his own job, "It's not rocket science, funnily enough" — in a Wall Street Journal interview (subscription required). Unfortunately for Jarvis, the Journal ran a companion piece that paints a different picture: Jarvis's marketing rhetoric doesn't conform to the reality of Dell's production woes.
Opsware, the boring but modestly successful software company founded by Marc Andreessen, has been sold to Hewlett-Packard, the boring but modestly successful hardware company founded by Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett, for $1.6 billion. It's a predictable deal — two years ago, I said HP would buy Opsware — but by waiting, Opsware commanded a nice price. The company, after all, only recently crowed about its market cap crossing $1 billion for the first time. Opsware's sale to HP leaves Andreessen free to focus on Ning, his startup which makes software to build social networks. It also put $138 million in his pocket.
"Good news is we're a $100 billion company. Bad news is we're a $100 billion company." - HP CEO Mark Hurd at Fortune's iMeme
HP has revealed in an email invitation that they will be interviewing college students in Second Life from May 15-17. Apparently, HP believes pasty nerds, too timid to brave the sunny quads of academia, are the ideal candidates for their drone army while S&M fetishists make the best consultants. They may also hire a flying penis or two for quality assurance.
Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard have always been, well, less than friends. As one journalist puts it, "'Mortal enemies' doesn't even begin to cover it." But the platform developer loves a good conference — as evidenced by JavaOne and Supernova. So, according to a tipster, they did the business equivalent of Scarlett Johanson borrowing lipstick from Lindsay Lohan.