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Old Jan 10, 2013, 09:46 AM   #1
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Steve Jobs' Efforts to Support Ousted HP CEO Mark Hurd and Protect HP's Legacy




As part of an extensive look at HP and whether CEO Meg Whitman will be able to turn the legendary computer company around, Bloomberg Businessweek shares an anecdote revealing how Steve Jobs reached out to ousted HP CEO Mark Hurd in 2010 both to provide support and to offer assistance with repairing Hurd's relationship with HP in an unsuccessful effort to prevent the company from entering a tailspin.

Hurd's ouster at HP has been compared to Steve Jobs' departure from Apple in 1985, although Hurd was forced out over claims of sexual harassment and improper expense reports.
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Three days after he'd resigned as CEO under pressure from the company's board of directors, Hurd received an e-mail from Steve Jobs. The Apple founder wanted to know if Hurd needed someone to talk to. [...]

Hurd met Jobs at his home in Palo Alto, according to people who know both men but did not wish to be identified, compromising a personal confidence. The pair spent more than two hours together, Jobs taking Hurd on his customary walk around the tree-lined neighborhood. At numerous points during their conversation, Jobs pleaded with Hurd to do whatever it took to set things right with the board so that Hurd could return. Jobs even offered to write a letter to HP's directors and to call them up one by one.
Jobs argued that a strong HP was vital to a healthy Silicon Valley, and Jobs was worried that the company would falter following the departure of Hurd. Jobs was unsuccessful in his efforts, however, and although he would only live for another year, he did witness the fall of HP under outsider Léo Apotheker.

Jobs had quietly served as a mentor to a number of other tech industry figures, such as Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and Salesforce founder Marc Benioff. Jobs also served as mentor to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, offering advice on a broad array of topics.

Article Link: Steve Jobs' Efforts to Support Ousted HP CEO Mark Hurd and Protect HP's Legacy
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 09:55 AM   #2
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Just thinking about the possibility of Steve being right about the importance of HP to silicon valley is scary.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:00 AM   #3
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Hurd's ouster at HP has been compared to Steve Jobs' departure from Apple in 1985, although Hurd was forced out over claims of sexual harassment and improper expense reports.
For some reason, I find that comparison completely absurd.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:06 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by SpamJunkie View Post
Just thinking about the possibility of Steve being right about the importance of HP to silicon valley is scary.
I think they are important in the sense that they are one of the 'true' tech companies and have been around for years - it'd be a great shame to see them go. Maybe they havent always been seen as a remarkable company, but their track record had been decent up to the point that Apotheker took over.

Even in recent times they have done some pretty great stuff. WebOS being a prime example. If you actually take the time to play around on it, you really can see that it was bloody fine work, even if it was made by Palm. Had Apotheker not been so scared of the initial figures, I'd be willing to bet that WebOS would right now be the third major tablet OS (behind iOS and Android obviously).

UI wise it was much nicer to use than any other mobile OS I've ever seen.

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For some reason, I find that comparison completely absurd.
In a way I agree. Although we must not forget that Steves departure was needed - he really was not doing well for Apple at the time. It was the right decision, even if it did cause a big backlash.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:06 AM   #5
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Hurd was the only CEO of HP in the last 10 years who knew what he was doing. He had the right idea in buying Palm (much less expensive than Compaq or Autonomy), but his successor didn't know what to do with it.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:11 AM   #6
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In a way I agree. Although we must not forget that Steve's departure was needed - he really was not doing well for Apple at the time. It was the right decision, even if it did cause a big backlash.
I've speculated that it was BECAUSE he was ejected from Apple that Jobs was able to do the things he did later. He needed time to grow, to learn, to mature. Only after spending time in the wilderness could he come back with the best of the 'old Jobs' along with the skills he picked up along the way and be the visionary he was in his last decade. In '84 he had all sorts of great ideas but he didn't know how to run a company.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:12 AM   #7
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Steve jobs truely was one of the crazy ones.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by iceburg02 View Post
For some reason, I find that comparison completely absurd.

I would have agreed with that had I not known how far HP has fallen since then. Since Hurd left, HP hired a software guy to run a hardware company, exited the smartphone and tablet markets (Palm purchased under Hurd) and threw away the $1.2 billion it cost to acquire them, flirted with exiting the PC business, fired the software guy, hired Meg Whitman as CEO who, as an HP board member approved the bonehead moves Apotheker made, laid off 27,000 employees after posting a profit decline of 31%, wrote off $8.8 billion from their purchase of Autonomy and increased the number of pay offs to 29,000.

I bet the HP board wishes everyday, check that, multiple times a day, that they didn't fire Hurd.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:14 AM   #9
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Steve Jobs, we miss you.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:21 AM   #10
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Steve Jobs, gone but not forgotten.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:22 AM   #11
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Is there some compelling HP product or service that I might want to buy? Something better than what other companies sell? Just wondering cuz I really don't know.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:23 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by rdowns View Post
I would have agreed with that had I not known how far HP has fallen since then. Since Hurd left, HP hired a software guy to run a hardware company, exited the smartphone and tablet markets (Palm purchased under Hurd) and threw away the $1.2 billion it cost to acquire them, flirted with exiting the PC business, fired the software guy, hired Meg Whitman as CEO who, as an HP board member approved the bonehead moves Apotheker made, laid off 27,000 employees after posting a profit decline of 31%, wrote off $8.8 billion from their purchase of Autonomy and increased the number of pay offs to 29,000.

I bet the HP board wishes everyday, check that, multiple times a day, that they didn't fire Hurd.
Yup, and the crazy thing is, if Hurd was still in charge, you can bet that right now HP would have a fair size of the mobile market firmly in their pockets.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:23 AM   #13
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Hurd was responsible for buying Palm, but after he was fired, HP never gave it a chance...
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:26 AM   #14
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Mentor, too

As time goes by, it is becoming increasingly evident that Steve Jobs was an even larger figure than was widely known. In this article, it is pointed out that he mentored a number of other up-and-comers on a wide range of topics. What a legacy!
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:27 AM   #15
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apothekarios in Greek means the person in charge of warehouse (...)
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:34 AM   #16
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It is very clear Jobs always had soft spot for HP. I guess he is loyal for using HP labs in early days of his career. HP was the only company licensed to produce Apple iPods.

But no one can save HP.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:36 AM   #17
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Honestly, I don't really care. What has HP done in the last 10 years that have truly been relevant? They had WebOS, but folded that program before it was viable. If HP disappeared, would anyone notice unless a tech blog or newspaper reported it? I don't think so. Yes, HP is an important part of Personal Computing history. But what does that have to do with today, the companies of today, beyond the legacy HP left?
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:42 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by carlgo View Post
Is there some compelling HP product or service that I might want to buy? Something better than what other companies sell? Just wondering cuz I really don't know.
Do not simply look at HP's consumer products and think that is the extent of their talent and products. HP has an enormous Enterprise catalog and service sector. Thats where the real money is for them and where their real quality work is put in. I love Apple products but if I had to pick something else for the server farm, it would most likely be HP. I have thoroughly enjoyed their products and support.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:54 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by needfx View Post
apothekarios in Greek means the person in charge of warehouse (...)
thanks for the etymology! I always thought it was related to “apothecary,” looked it up just now and see that yep, apothecary comes from apotheke, “storehouse."
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 11:01 AM   #20
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Steve Jobs, we miss you.
This is dumb
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 11:04 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by johnnyrb View Post
Steve Jobs, gone but not forgotten.
Only the hard core Apple haters and pseudo techies (basement nerds) refuse to acknowledge that Steve Jobs had, and still has, tremendous influence over Silicon Valley. Almost all of the now famous startups were mentored or modeled their businesses after Steve Jobs and Apple. Even Microsoft, with the decision to produce the whole package of hardware and software, has been influenced over the years. That there is this hateful movement to denigrate and marginalize Jobs' and Apple's place in tech history is shameful. These people are delusional.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 11:12 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by joel6653 View Post
As time goes by, it is becoming increasingly evident that Steve Jobs was an even larger figure than was widely known. In this article, it is pointed out that he mentored a number of other up-and-comers on a wide range of topics. What a legacy!
It's been known for awhile now

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Only the hard core Apple haters and pseudo techies (basement nerds) refuse to acknowledge that Steve Jobs had, and still has, tremendous influence over Silicon Valley. Almost all of the now famous startups were mentored or modeled their businesses after Steve Jobs and Apple. Even Microsoft, with the decision to produce the whole package of hardware and software, has been influenced over the years. That there is this hateful movement to denigrate and marginalize Jobs' and Apple's place in tech history is shameful. These people are delusional.
I don't believe theirs a "movement" in any such regard. I think, like with any person, place, thing - there are people that have differing opinions. That doesn't make them hateful or whatnot.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 11:12 AM   #23
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Maybe there were reasons he was forced out.

"Hurd was forced out over claims of sexual harassment and improper expense reports"

And who is to say that HP wouldn't be exactly where they are now with or without Hurd.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 11:15 AM   #24
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There's no doubt that universities and business schools the world over will be studying Apple (its turnaround and rise to most valued company) and Steve's focus on Product design as a model for future CEO's to follow.
So his influence will be long felt.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 11:20 AM   #25
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And who is to say that HP wouldn't be exactly where they are now with or without Hurd.
After Hurd came Apotheker, who wasted one year at enormous cost to the company. If they had hired me as CEO and paid me $100 million for playing Minesweeper the company would have done better. Just publishing the idea that HP could leave the PC hardware business cost them gazillions. (You can't go and tell people that you think about leaving a business. You either do it, or you don't do it. I would have been worth the money compared to Apotheker just by playing Minesweeper and not talking about leaving the PC business).
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