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Mark Hurd Biography

About Mark Hurd

Mark Hurd is the Chief Executive Officer of Oracle Corporation, a member of the Oracle board of directors, and a 30-year technology industry veteran. After joining Oracle in 2010 as President, Mark Hurd became CEO of Oracle in 2014, and oversees Oracle’s global field operations with a focus on strategy, innovation, leadership, and customers. Prior to his tenure at Oracle, Mark served as Chairman of the Board, CEO, and president of HP.

Career

In 1980, Mark started his business career as a junior salesman at the National Cash Register Corporation (NCR) in San Antonio, known for making ATMs and cash registers. After eight years he moved to Dayton, Ohio for a temporary assignment. He rose through the ranks of the company quickly, earning a reputation for executing on tough decisions. In 2001, Mark became NCR’s president, and was subsequently promoted to the role of Chief Executive Officer in 2003.

His work at NCR attracted attention from Silicon Valley, and when Hewlett-Packard went looking for a new CEO in 2005, Mark became the chief executive of one of the Valley’s oldest technology companies.

“I interviewed a lot of people in that search. Mark just blew everybody else out of the water.”
– Tom Perkins, former HP executive

Under Hurd’s tenure, Hewlett-Packard met Wall Street expectations in 21 out of 22 quarters and increased profits for 22 straight quarters, while its revenue rose 63% and stock price doubled.

In 2007, Hurd was named one of Fortune Magazine’s 25 Most Powerful People in Business. In 2008, The San Francisco Chronicle recognized Hurd as CEO of the Year and in 2009, Hurd was listed as one of Forbes’ Top Gun CEOs.

Oracle

Mark became president of Oracle Corporation on September 6, 2010 and shared the position with Safra Catz. Appointed by Larry Ellison (CEO at the time), Mark also joined Oracle’s board of directors.

Hurd’s first order of business was radically reshaping the company’s sales force. Beginning in 2013, Hurd implemented a “specialist” model. Instead of selling a range of Oracle products, each salesperson would become an expert in a single category. That year Mark hired over four thousand salespeople under this new model, restructuring territory assignments, compensation and quotas to help drive growth.

Armed with the belief that spending money in the short-term could benefit long-term growth, Hurd wasn’t shy about bolstering the sales force. “We are going to invest, but we are not changing our revenue goals,” he told Business Insider. “If you tell me something will grow the top line, you have unfettered access to the checkbook.’’

Hurd met with a sales group and asked the sales manager (several layers of management from him) what she needed most. Her response: “More reps.” Hurd shocked her when he agreed to hire them on the spot.
Inside the Life and Mind of Oracle CEO Mark Hurd | Business Insider

Another sales innovation sprang from a dinner with his daughter and her friends, all of whom had recently graduated from college. Drawing from the energy of enthusiastic young people ready to change the world, Mark envisioned a new program built for recent graduates that could inject a startup feel into Oracle. The result was the creation of “Class Of,” Oracle’s initiative for hiring college graduates into a dedicated sales program, preparing them to become Oracle’s future sales leaders. Oracle now recruits thousands of students every year through the “Class Of,” program, and every single one of them still has a one-on-one with Mark where they are encouraged to share feedback on improving the program.

In 2014, Larry Ellison became the CTO of Oracle, promoting Mark Hurd and Safra Catz as chief executive officers. Mark took over leadership of sales, marketing, and services, whereas Safra helmed finance, operations, and legal. Though rare among Silicon Valley companies, the partnership has proved fruitful, with Oracle’s stock hitting a high of $51 in 2017.

In 2015, Mark saw an increasing trend of migration to the cloud, a vision that has been borne out in today’s market. He predicted that 80% of corporate data centers would be gone by 2025, shifting resources to cloud services and making Oracle’s cloud database offerings a top priority for the company. He pushed investments in Oracle Cloud R&D, building data centers to take on competitors such as Amazon and Microsoft. Mark leveraged Oracle OpenWorld, the largest enterprise technology conference, to pitch the connected cloud experience, both through keynote addresses and one-on-one meetings with hundreds of customers. Acquisitions were another pathway toward Oracle’s cloud success. In the summer of 2016, Oracle announced the purchase of NetSuite, known as the “very first cloud company,” for approximately $9.3 billion. Mark saw the merger as another opportunity for growth stating, “We intend to invest heavily in both products—engineering and distribution.” Other acquisitions such as Bronto, LogFire, and Wercker also brought new offerings to Oracle’s position in the cloud space.

Oracle Cloud offers the broadest selection of enterprise-grade computing solutions developed for flexibility, security, and scale. Bringing together components such as HCM Cloud, ERP Cloud, EPM Cloud, and more, Oracle provides support across categories in SaaS, PaaS, DaaS and IaaS. Only Oracle supports a unique blend of public, private, and hybrid cloud options, which Mark Hurd identifies as critical: “one of Oracle’s core differentiators is the fact that most of our competitors are either all cloud or all on premises. The fact that we can do both and be able to align those two worlds, I think, becomes a very critical capability of Oracle’s that our customers benefit from.” As more businesses see the value in moving their businesses to the cloud, Mark’s predictions from 2014 ring truer every year.

In his pursuit to cloud success, Hurd has secured historic and significant deals with AT&T, Bank of America, and Qantas Airlines; helping bring their existing databases to the cloud with Oracle.  Oracle technology now serves over 420,000 customers across 195 countries and territories.

Oracle OpenWorld

Oracle OpenWorld is one of the world’s largest annual enterprise technology conferences, hosting more than 60,000 attendees at San Francisco’s Moscone Center in addition to 2.1 million online audience members. In 2014, Mark Hurd delivered his first keynote address at Oracle OpenWorld, where he predicted that “the world in the next 10 years will be all about people” as employee and customer needs drive change. Hurd also noted the difficult task that chief information officers face when updating legacy systems for the cloud – and how Oracle can help, by reducing costs and innovating in real time.

At Oracle OpenWorld 2015 Mark made five predictions for the future of the cloud in 2025:

  1. 80% of production apps will be in the cloud
  2. Two SaaS providers will own 80% of the market
  3. 100% of software development & testing will run through the cloud
  4. All enterprise data will be stored in the cloud
  5. Enterprise cloud will provide the most secure IT environment

Mark touched on the cloud’s ability to provide unparalleled speed and innovation at a cost level that makes cloud offerings accessible for more CEOs. Guest Jim Fowler, CIO of GE, noted that the move to digital is the largest transformation GE has experienced and stated GE’s intent to have 70% of its applications in the cloud by 2020. Mike Brady, CTO of AIG, told Mark Hurd and the Oracle OpenWorld audience that AIG is moving into the cloud for “very, very fast development capabilities,” with Brady mentioning both significant macroeconomic reasons as well as company-specific goals.

“Our job is to get customers in a position where they’re the most efficient and effective they can be. Then I would think move that investment to other areas so they can further their innovation.”
Mark Hurd | Recode Interview

At Oracle OpenWorld 2016, Mark Hurd made another set of predictions on the future of the cloud, this time joined by ClubCorp CEO Patrick Benson to discuss data centers. Mark predicted that by 2025, corporate-owned data centers will have decreased by 80%; Benson noted his own interest in leaving the data center business, a sentiment felt by others in the enterprise space.

Building off of his belief in testing environments moving to the cloud, Mark Hurd noted that in 2016 around 40% of development & testing was already cloud-based, drawing on the connectivity and security of a cloud format. Security was a major topic of conversation, with Mark predicting that enterprise clouds will be the most secure place for IT processing in 2025.

In addition to his Oracle OpenWorld keynote addresses, Mark Hurd has also spoken at other Oracle conferences, TEDx events, colleges, leadership events, and even a Sports Illustrated podcast.

Personal Life

Mark Hurd was born in 1957 in New York City, growing up on the Upper East Side. As a child, Hurd attended the all-boys Browning school until moving to Miami for high school. Mark’s early life would subsequently be dominated by sports; he started playing tennis the day he got to Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School and became a top 10 ranked player in Florida (in an interview with Business Insider, he notes that the Florida rankings were actually more competitive than those in New York). His talent was noticed, and Hurd was recruited by Baylor to attend the university on a tennis scholarship, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing management in 1979.

With a full academic schedule as a scholarship athlete and president of a fraternity, Hurd learned the value of time and organization.

Hurd told the Baylor Business Review in 2006: “I didn’t have a lot of time. I had a lot of things I wanted to get done while I was there, and it caused me to learn to discipline myself.”

Mark Hurd, former president of Phi Delta Theta, continues to support the fraternity by meeting with his chapter in Waco, Texas to discuss his experiences and strategies for Phi Delta Theta. The fraternity honored Hurd in 2010 with the Nance-Millett Free Enterprise Award, recognizing individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the free enterprise system.

In 2014, Hurd joined the university’s Board of Regents. He was named Vice Chair of the
Board of Regents Finance and Facilities Committee for the 2016-2017 term, where he provides strategic oversight of Baylor’s financial matters.

Mark Hurd has been married to his wife Paula for over 25 years. Paula worked at NCR Corporation in Dallas, where she was a senior executive. The two married in 1990 and have two daughters. The family resides in the Bay Area.

Philanthropy

Mark Hurd’s role in advancing Oracle’s support for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) has been instrumental in developing Oracle’s partnership with ITA. The alliance led to the development of several ITA initiatives, including: The Oracle/ITA Masters, The Oracle Collegiate Tennis Challenge, and the Oracle/ITA Arthur Ashe Jr./All-Star Outing.

Hurd is proud to be supporting rising tennis stars through the partnership, stating “This program is just one of the many ways Oracle is supporting college students and universities nationwide. Our partnership with the ITA gives us another opportunity to invest in college students who are key to Oracle’s future.”

Under Mark’s leadership, Oracle also created the Oracle US Tennis Awards. The $100,000 tennis grant for is awarded to one male and one female professional tennis player who have demonstrated an aptitude for success and extraordinary sportsmanship during their pro tour. Tennis professionals Danielle Collins and Mackenzie McDonald were the inaugural recipients in March 2017.

Following graduation from Baylor University, Hurd has continued to support his alma mater through contributions to the Baylor Bear Foundation, the primary fundraising organization for Baylor Athletics, and the Men’s Tennis Excellence Fund.

Hurd has been instrumental in the Baylor tennis facility renovations. He helped fund the renovation of the outdoor tennis facility, which was later renamed  the Hurd Tennis Center in honor of his family’s generosity to the tennis program. The facility officially opened in 2001, and has continually undergone additional updates. A premiere collegiate facility, the Hurd Tennis Center was rated No. 1 College Tennis Facility in 2015 by Tennis Magazine and hosted the 2015 NCAA Championships.

Thought Leadership

Starting his day at 4:30 a.m., Hurd has a reputation of getting things done. His philosophy for execution hangs on identifying the resources needed to complete each step of the process. He is also known for his organizational skills and implementation of accountability, famously declaring: “The more accountable I can make you, the easier it is for you to show you’re a great performer.”

Many of Mark’s current thoughts on leadership in business stem from his time at NCR. Starting as a junior salesman in 1980, he rose through the ranks of the company quickly, becoming COO in 2001. Mark was named CEO of NCR in 2002. He notes that his experiences at NCR provided him with the skill set and values to succeed throughout his career.

“I would say that [to execute any business plan well] you need to say: Here’s the strategy, here’s the results if we execute that strategy well and here’s the actual people that are going to go do it. Then and only then should you go do it.”
– Mark Hurd | Business Insider

“[E]very time we threw Mark out the window he landed on his feet. So we moved him up a floor, and he landed on his feet again.”
– Gilbert Williamson, former CEO of NCR

Hurd has been instrumental in the Baylor tennis facility renovations. He helped fund the renovation of the outdoor tennis facility, which was later renamed  the Hurd Tennis Center in honor of his family’s generosity to the tennis program. The facility officially opened in 2001, and has continually undergone additional updates. A premiere collegiate facility, the Hurd Tennis Center was rated No. 1 College Tennis Facility in 2015 by Tennis Magazine and hosted the 2015 NCAA Championships.

Honors and Awards

  • Baylor Meritorious Achievement Award (Baylor Legacy Award) (2012-2013)

  • CRN

    • 25 Most Influential Executives (2010)

    • 25 Most Influential Executives (2009)

    • Top 25 Executives (2008)

  • American Football Coaches Foundation CEO Coach of the Year Award (2009)

  • Barron’s (2008)

    • Best CEOs list

  • San Francisco Chronicle, CEO of the year (2008)

  • Fortune’s 25 Most powerful people in business (2007)

  • Baylor Business Legend Award from the Houston Baylor Business Network (2006)

  • Business 2.0: 50 People who matter (2006)

Mark Hurd Book The Value Factor

Books

The Value Factor: How Global Leaders Use Information for Growth and Competitive Advantage

Co-authored by Oracle CEO Mark Hurd and former NCR CEO Lars Nyberg, The Value Factor identifies information as the new tool providing companies with a competitive edge. Delivering insight from some of the top businesses across a variety of industries, Mark Hurd and Lars Nyberg utilize their experiences as CEOs of major technology corporations to share their perspective on the revolutionary impact of information access. Described as a “must read for busy executives” and “a clear lamp knifing through the fog of business”, The Value Factor can help individuals looking to maximize their business potential.

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