HP Names NCR's Mark Hurd as CEO

UPDATED: The new HP head is known for his no-nonsense approach.

UPDATED: After a month of searching for a new leader, HP named Mark Hurd as its new president and CEO.

Hurd, a veteran of National Cash Register (NCR) replaces the ousted Carly Fiorina. Fiorina was asked to leave in February after the board of directors disagreed with her strategic direction.

Hurd will move into the driver's seat at HP on April 1 and join its board. He succeeds Robert Wayman, who stepped in during the search. Wayman will remain CFO and continue to serve as a member of HP's board, the company said. Patricia Dunn remains at her post as HP chairman.

New York-based Russell Reynolds Associates assembled the candidates, while HP assembled a screening team of board members, consisting of Dunn, Jay Keyworth and Tom Perkins, who returned shortly before Fiorina's removal. Details of Hurd's compensation package were not disclosed.

Mark Hurd
Source: NCR

At 48, Hurd is known at NCR as a no-nonsense executive who gained the respect of Wall Street after only a year on the job. The company, which makes automated teller machines and retail scanners and provides data-warehousing services, was able to reach nearly $50 per share last year after Hurd cut $100 million from expenses and drove three of its major divisions to profitability.

Hurd was named CEO and elected to the board of directors in March 2003. Prior to that, he was chosen to run the Teradata division in October 1999 and was promoted to COO of the division within a year.

Hurd is also a member of the Computer Systems Policy Project, a public policy group composed of chairmen and CEO's of IT companies that develops and advocates positions on technology and trade issues.

"Mark came to our attention because of his strong execution skills, [which] he demonstrated by turning around NCR, which, while smaller than HP, is a complex organization with multiple business segments," Dunn said in a statement. "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."

Analysts have said that whomever takes over HP will have significant challenges managing a staff of 150,000 in 170 countries. The company leads in certain categories like x86-based servers and digital printers. But HP continually competes with Dell's leading sales position and IBM's worldwide reach.

Hurd would be the second outsider named to the post. Analysts speculated that after Fiorina, HP's board would choose an insider to run the company.

Names that were considered at one time included former HP president Michael Capellas; Ann Livermore, a longtime HP executive who was in the running for the CEO spot with Fiorina after Lew Platt left HP in the summer of 1999; and Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of HP's newly formed imaging and personal systems group.

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