Ben's Blog: Ben Horowitz: In Defense of Standards, Ethics, and Honest Financial Reporting at Hewlett-Packard: my business partner, Marc Andreessen, is on the board of directors of Hewlett-Packard. I note that I have no inside information, and this blog post is based purely on published material. In 2007, I sold Opsware, the company that I founded and ran to Hewlett-Packard for $1.6B. I worked at Hewlett-Packard from 2007 to 2008 as an executive in the software business. Recently, my old company Hewlett-Packard has been in the news—and not in a good way. ....... HP employs over 300,000 people. ..... Jodie Fisher had more access to the CEO and was paid more than 99.9% of HP’s workforce, despite having no traditional qualifications. ...... It is not an easy thing to fire a popular, highly successful CEO.Something tells me this drama is far from over. The Oracle-HP alliance is now a full blown rivalry. This is about money. Like they say, follow the money. Oracle is now firmly in the hardware business as well, and HP feels eaten up. Oracle can do hardware, but could HP do Oracle-like software?
This is not about people getting along, or not getting along. This is about the money. And Larry Ellison might be dramatic, but he is first and foremost a businessman. His flare ups are market signals. Watch them and you are watching an industry churning.
This fight has quite a few rounds to it.
The Leo Apotheker Is Human Drama
New York Times: A Double Standard at H.P.: Oracle and H.P. had once been the closest of partners, with the latter selling the industrial-strength hardware that ran Oracle’s industrial-strength software. But that partnership appears to be dissolving. ..... Larry Ellison, Oracle’s flamboyant founder ..... “Hiring him had nothing to do with fighting Oracle,” said Ray Lane, the former Oracle (!) president who is set to become H.P.’s chairman next month. “The board chose Léo because he was the best available athlete.” .... Apotheker was likely to further traumatize the already demoralized H.P. staff. ..... “If you wanted to find someone who represented the diametrical opposite of the H.P. way, it is Léo,” said Jason Maynard, a veteran technology analyst with Wells Fargo Securities. “He is tough as nails and chews glass for breakfast.” ...... the same board that viewed Mr. Hurd’s minor expense account shenanigans as intolerable has chosen as its new C.E.O. someone involved — however tangentially — with the most serious business crime you can commit. ..... the chance to embarrass H.P. and its new C.E.O. is likely to be irresistible to Oracle and Mr. Ellison. Which will mean yet more egg on the faces of the H.P. directors.