Mark Hurd's Legacy
Mark V. Hurd, a renowned business leader and devoted father and husband, died Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. He was 62.
Mark was Chief Executive Officer of Oracle Corp., one of the world’s largest technology companies. Oracle founder Larry Ellison called Mark “a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle.”
Mark was personable, analytical and always hard driving. He rose early and worked late. In a Silicon Valley of jeans and sweaters, Mark wore a suit and tie. He deeply valued his family, close friends and colleagues. He had a tremendous sense of humor and an obsession with spreadsheets.
Born Jan. 1, 1957 in New York City, Mark attended Archbishop Curley-Notre Dame High School in Miami. He received a tennis scholarship to Baylor University and graduated with a degree in business administration in 1979.
Mark started his business career with NCR Corp., working as a salesman based in San Antonio, Texas. He rose through the ranks during the next 25 years and became Chief Operating Officer in 2002 and CEO the following year.
Two years later, Mark was hired as CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co. Struggling at the time, Hewlett-Packard quickly became a computing powerhouse under Mark’s leadership, including the transformational acquisition of EDS in 2008. James Stewart of the New York Times said Mark had “pulled off one of the great rescue missions in American corporate history.”
Mark had few peers in his ability to synthesize reams of information and deliver an easy-to-understand monologue, no matter the subject. He was dubbed by some in the media as “the human calculator.” As Larry Ellison said: “All of us will miss Mark’s keen mind and rare ability to analyze, simplify and solve problems quickly.”
Mark became renowned for his operational and strategic expertise. On the announcement of his hiring at both Hewlett-Packard and then later at Oracle, the stock prices of both companies rose sharply. Under his decade-long leadership at Oracle, the stock price more than doubled, employee hiring increased by 25 percent and he led Oracle’s successful transformation to the cloud.
Mark loved the game of tennis, both as a player and fan. He provided significant financial commitments to further the quality of American tennis, both at the collegiate and professional level. He particularly loved attending the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden, where Mark often could be seen alone at the back courts of Indian Wells, watching collegiate players competing against each other in an event he had created specifically for them.
Mark and his wife, Paula, engaged in extensive philanthropy. In 2012, Mark was honored with the Baylor Legacy Award for his meritorious achievement, service and philanthropy to the university. He served as Vice Chair of the Baylor University Board of Regents and on Baylor’s Executive Committee. His family continues to support Baylor, where the tennis facilities are housed at the Hurd Tennis Center. Last year, Mark and Paula gave the lead gift to help create the university’s Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center.
Mark is survived by his wife Paula and two grown daughters, Kelly and Kathryn. A celebration of life will be held at Oracle’s headquarters at 1:00 PM on Saturday, November 2nd for family, friends and colleagues. Out of respect for the family’s privacy, please no press. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly suggests donations to The Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC with a note “In Memory of Mark Hurd”, 9033 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 300, Beverly Hills, CA 90211.