Mark Hurd, Co-Chief Executive of Oracle, Is Dead at 62

SAN FRANCISCO — Mark Hurd, who was known for both success and scandal at Hewlett-Packard and most recently served as co-chief executive of the software company Oracle, died on Friday. He was 62.

Larry Ellison, Oracle’s chairman and chief technology officer, announced the death but did not give a cause or say where Mr. Hurd died. Mr. Hurd, who lived in the Bay Area, had taken a medical leave of absence in September.

“Oracle has lost a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle,” Mr. Ellison wrote.

Mr. Hurd spent 25 years at the business technology company N.C.R., where he became chief executive and developed a reputation for cutting costs and improving the company’s stock price. In 2005, he became the surprise selection to lead Hewlett-Packard, a Silicon Valley pioneer known for computers and printer technology.

He arrived at Hewlett-Packard during a time of tumult. His predecessor, Carly Fiorina, had won a bruising proxy battle with the heirs of the company’s co-founders over her plan to buy Compaq Computer a few years earlier. But divisions and business problems at Hewlett-Packard ran deep; Ms. Fiorina was fired in February 2005 and Mr. Hurd was hired the next month.

Where Ms. Fiorina was known for bold technology strategies and polished public presentations, Mr. Hurd excelled at operations. He set about cutting costs, including by laying off about 15,000 employees. People who know him say he was fond of mottos like “vision without execution is hallucination.”

Mr. Hurd would stand before a whiteboard and recite copious statistics about operations, said Philip E. Meza, co-author of “Becoming Hewlett Packard.” That attention to detail served Mr. Hurd well, as the company’s earnings and stock price improved.

“He had an incredibly high sense of urgency,” said Antonio Neri, chief executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, one of two companies created in the 2015 breakup of Hewlett-Packard. “He was really focused working and making things leaner and more efficient.”

Mr. Hurd joined Hewlett-Packard as its board was mounting a kind of spying operation aimed at discovering how leaks about the company were reaching journalists. Disclosure of the company’s tactics later caused a firestorm of criticism, culminating in Mr. Hurd’s being called before Congress to explain what had happened. He said he had approved the operation without adequate consideration.

“There is no excuse for this aberration,” he testified. “It happened, and it will never happen again.”

Mr. Hurd helped restore Hewlett-Packard’s personal computer business to a No. 1 position, Mr. Neri said. But Mr. Meza added that Mr. Hurd had never forged a long-term strategy for the company.

His stint there ended in 2010 with an equally surprising scandal: the disclosure that Mr. Hurd had had a relationship with a female consultant to the company and had fudged some related expense reports.

He was swiftly hired by Oracle, a pioneer of the database software market. Mr. Ellison had long spoken glowingly of Mr. Hurd’s prowess in operations. Mr. Hurd helped lead Oracle with Mr. Ellison and Safra Catz, who was also given a co-chief executive title, which she still holds.

At Oracle, in Redwood City, Calif., Mr. Hurd was closely associated with the company’s shift to offering online versions of its software, a business imperative compelled by the rise of potent competitors like

“Mark was my close and irreplaceable friend, and trusted colleague,” Mr. Ellison wrote in the announcement on Friday. “All of us will miss Mark’s keen mind and rare ability to analyze, simplify and solve problems quickly.”

Mark Vincent Hurd was born on Jan. 1, 1957, in Manhattan, the son of Ralph Steiner Hurd, a wealthy financier, and Teresa (Fanoni) Hurd. He grew up on the Upper East Side. According to Oracle, he attended the all-boys Browning School in Manhattan until moving to Miami for high school. Tennis was a major interest; he received a tennis scholarship to Baylor University in Waco, Tex., and graduated in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in business.

He started his business career as a junior salesman in the San Antonio office of what was then known as the National Cash Register Corporation, a Midwestern company founded in 1884. He rose through the sales ranks quickly, moving to N.C.R.’s headquarters in Dayton, Ohio, and winning the chief executive position in 2003.

Mr. Hurd became known at Oracle for advancing the company’s support for young tennis players through the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. He also contributed to Baylor’s athletics, including helping to renovate its tennis facility.

Mr. Hurd is survived by his wife of almost 30 years, Paula (Kalupa) Hurd, a former senior executive at N.C.R., and two daughters, Kathryn and Kelly Hurd.

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