In what is quickly becoming one of the more expensive hiring battles in recent history, Oracle is pulling out all the stops to get Mark Hurd, former HP CEO, to join as co-President. This morning, according to Cnet, details emerged showing that Oracle is giving Hurd a base salary of $950,000. This includes a potential bonus payout of $10 million, as well as 10 million stock options, which if paid out now, would come out to roughly $240 million. After being deposed of the CEO throne at HP, for what started out as sexual harassment charges, but ended up being charges over falsified expense reports, Hurd could definitely be doing worse.
The enormous bid is likely a result of Hurd’s glittering reputation as the guy who made HP the global IT services juggernaut it is today in his five year tenure. Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle and public defender of Hurd, said that "Mark did a brilliant job at HP and I expect he'll do even better at Oracle. There is no executive in the IT world with more relevant experience than Mark."
Hurd’s biggest obstacle is HP’s unwillingness to let him work for the competition. Ever since Oracle bought Sun Microsystems, Oracle and HP have been direct competitors in the server business. HP claims, in a non-compete lawsuit filed after Oracle offered the job, that Hurd would not be able to fulfill his job requirements at Oracle without divulging protected company secrets. While this alone won’t stop him from accepting a job at Oracle, it will severely damage any partnerships or relationships that the companies may have in the future, limiting Hurd’s capability in his new role.