Hurd signs on as new HP chief

Hewlett-Packard selects Mark Hurd, NCR's chief executive, as its next CEO.

Hewlett-Packard has selected Mark Hurd, NCR chief executive, as its next CEO, ushering in a new phase for the tech giant.

Mark Hurd

Hurd's appointment comes less than two months after HP ousted its former chief executive, Carly Fiorina, and as the industry icon struggles to execute on all cylinders after its megamerger with Compaq.

As earlier reported, Hurd will serve as president and chief executive, with Patricia Dunn retaining the chairwoman title. Hurd will begin in his new post Friday and will join the HP board.

"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," Dunn said. "He demonstrated these skills by turning around NCR, which, while smaller than HP, is a complex organization with multiple business segments."

Dunn also noted: "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."

The issue of a cultural fit was one that plagued the Fiorina era. The charismatic executive was accused by a number of employees of killing "the HP way," and was publicly chided during a shareholder meeting by current and former HP employees.

During the search, Hurd emerged as a clear frontrunner within the first month of the effort even though he was not well-known to HP prior to its CEO search. He was not among the candidates reviewed when HP selected Fiorina six years ago.

Three HP board members--Dunn, Jay Keyworth and Tom Perkins--screened a broad field of candidates before submitting the strongest candidates to the full board for their review and selection.

Hurd said he's ready for the challenge of running the larger company, building on a foundation of HP's traditions and current status.

"HP is one of the world's great companies, with a proud history of innovation, outstanding talent and enviable positions in many of its product lines and services," Hurd said.

James Ringler, an NCR board member, will serve as interim chief executive at NCR while the company searches for a replacement. At HP, Robert Wayman steps down as acting CEO but remains chief financial officer and a member of the board.

Hurd, 48, initially joined NCR in 1980 and rose up the ranks. He has worked as a senior sales and marketing executive and later as the chief operating officer. In March 2003, Hurd was named CEO.

The company, which last year generated $5.98 billion in revenue, provides software, hardware and services for automated teller machines, data warehousing and IT services.

In the fourth quarter, NCR posted revenue of $1.79 billion, a 9 percent increase over the previous year. And the company

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