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Summary:

Microsoft directors have talked to eight external CEO candidates, including Oracle co-prez Mark Hurd, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Here’s an eye opener. Oracle co-president Mark Hurd is among eight external CEO candidates contacted by Microsoft board members, according to a Wall Street Journal report (registration required).

Most of the other named candidates are pretty well known already — alleged front-runner Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford, and Nokia exec Stephen Elop, as well as internal prospects Satya Nadella and Tony Bates.

But Hurd? Geez. His name surfaces every time a high-profile CEO slot opens up — or might open up. The reason? Hurd was a CEO who is now co-president at Oracle, sharing duties with Safra Catz. And Oracle’s current CEO, Larry Ellison, seemingly has no intention of retiring. Ever. Conventional wisdom holds that Hurd wants to be a CEO again — of something big, and Microsoft for all its issues, is very, very big.

Hurd was CEO at Hewlett Packard before a sexual harassment scandal forced him out. Most HP shareholders loved him because he delivered good results — at least as measured by Wall Street. But he also decimated HP’s vaunted R&D organization while surrounding himself with highly paid execs who delivered questionable value. Some say HP is still paying for his tenure.

So why does his name keep surfacing? Either it is being leaked, or — and this is my suspicion — corporate boards are not very creative or imaginative places. They keep interviewing and hiring the same old guys — and I do mean guys — over and over again.

So while I doubt Hurd will be the next Microsoft CEO — and I’ve been wrong before — it’s not surprising that he is being considered for the post. Perhaps it should be, though.

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  1. a little bird told me Microsoft may get Scott Forstall (the guy from apple) as its new CEO…this should be interesting…

    1. i have seen Forstall’s name mentioned. that would be interesting

  2. sure agree, I am surprised he have survived at Oracle though

  3. Michael Cullina Monday, October 14, 2013

    Mark Hurd – No. Scott Forstall – Interesting. Paul Maritz – Best Choice. Key #2 (and future CEO) – Scott Guthrie.

  4. if he does get it, buy msft stock. he could cut costs there for 5 years or so, and skyrocket the financials. then sell the stock just as fast, before it craters.

  5. Yeah, Cut & Gut Hurd. That worked fabulous at HP. As the Barb indicates, it is unknown if HP will ever recover from the damage done.

    Is the Microsoft Board that Stupid?

  6. He will destroy Microsoft just like he destroyed HP while filling his pockets and ensuring that he and his inner circle become very rich in the process.

    The man is incompetent and my advice to anyone at Microsoft, if they hire him find a new job ASAP

  7. Mark Hurd scandalous character defamed its character his job at risk. http://bit.ly/ScandalousCEO

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