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HP bets on the Hurd mentality for CEO

Cash register stud to the rescue

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NCR CEO Mark Hurd has risen from the "shortlist" of HP CEO candidates right on up to the CEO post.

HP today announced that Hurd, 48, will succeed Carly Fiorina, who was ousted last month by HP's board. The former NCR chief had been named yesterday as the likely HP CEO candidate by BusinessWeek. In the story, sources described Hurd as being adept at running a "mini-HP."

"Mark came to our attention because of his strong execution skills, his proven ability to lead top performing teams and his track record in driving shareholder value," said Patricia Dunn, HP's non-executive chairman. "He demonstrated these skills by turning around NCR, which, while smaller than HP, is a complex organization with multiple business segments. As we got to know Mark, we were impressed by his emphasis on developing internal talent while reaching outside for new skills, his understanding of the role of culture in a company's success and his personal integrity."

NCR also confessed to Hurd's departure once word of the HP hiring hit the news wires.

"NCR today announced that Mark Hurd, president and chief executive officer (CEO), has resigned from NCR, effective immediately, to accept a position with a large global technology company," NCR said.

NCR is now hunting for a new CEO. Could Carly get in the ATM game?

Hurd was tapped as NCR chief in March of 2003 after working in various positions at the company since 1980. In its most recent quarter (Q4), NCR saw revenue rise 9 per cent to $1.8bn and reported net income of $124m. NCR posted revenue of $6.0bn in 2004 versus $5.6bn in 2003.

Hurd will be charged with adding new life to HP's server, storage, PC and software businesses, while keeping its printing and imaging and services organizations strong. Most importantly, investors will look to the new CEO to produce steady profits in all of HP's major businesses. Fiorina was canned, in part, because of inconsistent results.

Hurd is just the second outsider to take the helm of HP - Fiorina being the first. He starts on April 1. Get it? ®

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