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Charles Phillips announced that he will be resigning as Co-President of Oracle Corporation. Consecutively, Oracle announced Mark Hurd would become a new Co-President at the company.  (Source: Lennihan/AP (left), Sullivan/Getty (right))

Mr. Phillips was outed as having an affair with YaVaughnie Wilkins, left; Mr. Hurd was forced to settle a sexual harassment suit over his personal relationship with Jodie Fisher, right.  (Source: Charles Phillips and YaVaughnie Wilkins (left), Whosdatedwho (right))

Mr. Phillips jilted ex-mistress posted a billboard in downtown New York City revealing his infidelity.  (Source: Costanza for News)
HP's former CEO finds a new home thanks to his friend and colleague Larry Ellison

They say that in the business world it is all about who you know.  That certainly seemed to be the case with embattled ex-Hewlett Packard Company Chief Executive Officer Mark HurdOracle Corporation, the world's third largest software company behind IBM and Microsoft, announced late last night that is appointing Mr. Hurd to be one of the company's Co-Presidents, replacing Charles Phillips.  The announcement came roughly a month after Mr. Hurd was forced to resign from HP on uneasy terms.

Mr. Hurd's strange journey began in 2005.  At the time he was finishing up a 25-year campaign with NCR Corporation, a company best known for its commercial electronics hardware like ATMs and cash registers.  Surprisingly, HP picked the relatively unknown Mr. Hurd for the spot of Chief Executive Officer, replacing CEO Carly Fiorina.

The move payed off -- HP flourished surpassing competitor Dell in the personal computer market.  However, even as Mr. Hurd was fostering that success, he made the mistake of contracting and developing a personal relationship with a woman named Jodie Fisher.  Ms. Fisher sued Mr. Hurd for sexual harassment last year.  While that suit was settled out of court, Mr. Hurd was quickly given the ultimatum to resign by HP's board, which was upset that he had appeared to file inaccurate expense reports to cover up his relationship.

At a time when everyone seemed to be against him, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison publicly voiced support for Mr. Hurd.  Mr. Ellison had done some past business with NCR and had developed a strong friendship and admiration for Mr. Hurd.  He called HP's board members "cowardly" for making the hasty decision to force Mr. Hurd to resign.

In an ironic twist Mr. Hurd is replacing Oracle's own sex scandal victim, Co-President Charles Phillips, who just resigned.  Mr. Phillips was a top gun executive who came to Oracle in 2003 from the world of investment banking.  He oversaw $30B USD in acquisitions at Oracle, capped by the purchase of Sun Microsystems.  His career was derailed when in January he was publicly outed as allegedly having an affair.

The jilted woman whom he had an affair with, YaVaughnie Wilkins, went public by buying billboard ad space in major cities, including New York City.  On the rented space she posted a romantic photo of her and Mr. Phillips.  The billboard quoted Mr. Phillips as saying to Ms. Wilkins: "You are my soulmate forever!"

Ms. Wilkins also posted a website full of personal photos of the pair.

Mr. Phillips admitted early this year through a spokesperson that he indeed had committed infidelity, commenting, "I had an 8½-year serious relationship with YaVaughnie Wilkins. My divorce proceedings began in 2008. The relationship with Ms. Wilkins has since ended and we both wish each other well."

Oracle CEO Ellison was quick to dismiss the notion that the scandal played any part in Mr. Phillips' departure.  He stated, "When Charles approached me last December and expressed his desire to transition out of the company, I asked him to stay on through the Sun integration which has gone well. We will miss his talent and leadership, but I respect his decision."

Even if that is true, the exchange of one high-profile sex scandal victim for another certainly is striking.

The departure may have had as much to do with Mr. Phillips' mistakes at the company, though, as those in his personal life.  In July Mr. Phillips embarrassed the company by unexpectedly announcing its plans to spend $70B USD on acquisitions over the next five years.  The off-the-cuff remark drew a swift denial from Oracle and subsequent backlash

According to a recent research note by market analysts, Mr. Phillips at the start of the month had been replaced as head of Oracle's global business unit.  Reportedly, his replacement was Bob Weiler, the former CEO of life sciences software vendor Phase Forward, which Oracle acquired earlier this year.  It's unclear if Mr. Hurd will take control of that unit or receive other responsibilities.

Also unclear is whether Mr. Weiler will be reassigned or whether Oracle will now have three co-presidents.  That remains a distinct possibility, as Mr. Phillips also headed the company's sales and marketing, fo which experts say Mr. Hurd would be an ideal fit.

The company's other co-president is Safra Catz, a 2004 hire who primarily handles financial and legal matters.  Oracle's Co-Presidents report exclusively to CEO Ellison.  Mr. Phillips also resigned from his post on Oracle's Board of Directors.



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Victim?
By GaryJohnson on 9/7/2010 11:03:01 AM , Rating: 3
You're calling Mark Hurd a "victim"? He used company funds to further his relationship with a female subordinate who was essentially a company pay-rolled escort. He committed fraud to hide it. Then when she went public he bribed her to cover it up. The only thing he's a victim of is his own arrogance and stupidity.




RE: Victim?
By derricker on 9/7/2010 6:35:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Then when she went public he bribed her to cover it up.


Could we lay off the women are hapless victims speech??? maybe she went public because she wanted to be bribed for a second time, the first time for sex, the second for her silence.


RE: Victim?
By ViroMan on 9/7/2010 7:24:23 PM , Rating: 1
Indeed, you may find when faced with the possibility of gaining that much cash you'll say anything even if its 100% false. If someone payed you 2million(in installments) to say for the rest of your life that the sky was green, you know damn well you would.

I find it no surprise that she went public with there relationship. At that point it would be hard for him to prove they were not seeing each other. It was plane stupid on his part to tell her, he was covering it up. Not all or even half of women are whores but, you get my point.


RE: Victim?
By GaryJohnson on 9/7/2010 8:12:17 PM , Rating: 3
That was absolutely not a "women are hapless victims" speech. That was a "Mark Hurd damn sure wasn't a victim" speech.


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