Larry Ellison backs Mark Hurd

Oracle boss Larry Ellison said the HP board was barking to fire CEO Mark Hurd.

Hurd, who was involved with fiddling expenses for a soft porn star who later accused him of sexual harassment, was fired by the maker of expensive printer ink this week.

According to Bloomberg Ellison dashed off an angry note to the New York Times. saying that the “HP board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago.”

Apple fired Jobs in 1985 after he clashed with CEO John Sculley. He returned to the company 12 years later to lead a comeback, building it into one of the most valuable technology businesses in the world.

“That decision nearly destroyed Apple and would have if Steve hadn’t come back and saved them,” Ellison wrote.

Of course Steve Jobs was described as being erratic and temperamental at the time and there was a huge slump in the computer industry which he seemed unable to come up with an answer for. The Jobs that returned to Apple was a little different from the luckless wonder that left it.

However Hurd turned around HP, restructured it, and made it viable and many observers feel that HP will regret sacking him.

“In losing Mark Hurd, the HP board failed to act in the best interest of HP’s employees, shareholders, customers and partners,” Ellison said. 

Of course if Ellison is right, then in ten years HP will be in deep trouble and recall Hurd to save it.  We don’t think you need to hold your breath.  HP is in a much stronger position than Apple was when it got rid of Jobs.