HP's Hurd a numbers man

Compared with prior Hewlett-Packard chief executives, current CEO Mark Hurd is a numbers man, or so says his chief financial officer, Bob Wayman.

Wayman was asked by Moors & Cabot analyst Cindy Shaw recently to compare and contrast his current boss' methods to that of previous HP leaders that Wayman has worked with in the past: John Young, Lew Platt (who died on Sept. 8 at the age of 64), and Carly Fiorina.

Wayman's observation, according to Shaw was that Hurd uses numbers more than his predecessors "to understand the business, to set goals, and to manage the business."

The CFO (and interim CEO before Hurd came aboard) also noted that the former CEO of NCR had a greater knowledge of the industry than he had anticipated.

Wayman also said that Hurd is pleased with HP's PC business, which one analyst suggested should split from HP's profitable imaging and printing business.

Hurd's focus these days is HP's current restructuring of 10 percent of the company's work force. Wayman said the cost-cutting activities are under way but noted that HP will be losing experienced managers through layoffs, early retirements, attrition or some combination thereof.

Software, HP Services, controllable spending and accountability are also top of mind for Hurd, Wayman said.

Investors seem to like what Hurd is doing. HP stock is up 34 percent since Hurd took the helm six months ago, outperforming the S&P Index by 30 percent. HP stock traded at $28.88 per share at midday Tuesday.

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