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Ellison taps ex-HP CEO Hurd as Oracle co-prez

Phillips replaced by Larry tennis buddy

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Ex-HP CEO Mark Hurd has been named co-president at Oracle.

Maybe Charles Phillips, one of the two former co-presidents of software giant and hardware wannabe Oracle, should have spent more time on the tennis courts with founder and CEO Larry Ellison and less time in the office. The strategy seems to have worked well for Hurd.

In a statement announced as Labor Day was coming to a close in the States, Oracle said that Hurd has joined Oracle as president, serving beside current co-president Safra Catz and reporting directly to Ellison.

"Mark did a brilliant job at HP and I expect he'll do even better at Oracle," said Ellison in a statement. Ellison has not been shy in defending his tennis partner, calling HP's board of directors idiots for firing Hurd. "There is no executive in the IT world with more relevant experience than Mark. Oracle's future is engineering complete and integrated hardware and software systems for the enterprise. Mark pioneered the integration of hardware with software when Teradata was a part of NCR."

Catz said in the statement that Oracle needed people with experience in "operating a $100 billion business," and that she looked "forward to working with him for years to come."

The story line coming out of Oracle in a separate statement is that Charles Phillips was asking to get out of Oracle in the wake of the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, which was initiated in April 2009 and closed in January 2010. The Sun deal closed just a week after Philips was embroiled in his own scandal, admitting to having an affair for eight-and-a-half years with a woman who took her revenge on him by posting billboard of them together in the cities of New York, San Francisco, and Atlanta. Hurd, of course, resigned his three posts at HP on August 6 after coming under fire for a sexual harassment lawsuit with former HP exec greeter Jodie Fisher and fudging expenses relating to her on his expense reports.

Phillips, a former captain in the US Marines, a graduate of the US Air Force Academy with a BS in compsci, and managing director at investment bank Morgan Stanley, has spent 29 quarters, as he put it in his swan song statement, at Oracle.

"Charles has evolved our field culture toward a more customer-centric organization and improved our top line consistency through a period of tremendous change and growth," Ellison said in a separate statement. "When Charles approached me last December and expressed his desire to transition out of the company, I asked him to stay on through the Sun integration which has gone well. We will miss his talent and leadership, but I respect his decision." ®

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