The enterprise technology community has been shocked and saddened on today’s news on the very untimely passing of Oracle Co-CEO Mark Hurd. He was 62.

As the former Chief Executive of Hewlett Packard, and before that a 25-year management career at NCR Corporation, ascending to the CEO role, Mr. Hurd joined Oracle in 2010.  Since then he has been a fixture in the persona of Oracle’s market and executive leadership presence.

This supply chain management technology analyst’s first exposure to Mark came in my early days at AMR Research, transitioning to a new career role as industry analyst. I was attending a technology conference, and AMR co-founder and industry icon Bruce Richardson stopped me in a corridor and asked me to accompany him to interview Mark Hurd. That was my first exposure, a rather nervous analyst meeting even then an executive considered a rock star. Mark made me feel very comfortable with humor about what being an analyst was about, and proceeded to brief both of us on what was really happening in the market, along with his infamous predictions of what will come next. He indeed had the innate skill of analysis and prediction.

My next exposure was at the time when Mark was CEO of NCR, and I was part of IDC, being asked to attend a combined briefing of both equity and technology analysts.  I was literally blown away by Mark’s executive presence among analysts, his communication skills and recollection of key business performance metrics. It was very clear that if you were going to ask a question, best you had your facts correct because he knew all of them.

The same held true at his tenure at HP. If Mark knew your name, he would always call you by name. He would also tend to remember the questions you asked in prior interviews.

Having attended and provided blog coverage of many prior Oracle customer conferences and executive briefings, I continued to admire Mark’s CEO executive communication skills, his abilities to engage audiences on broad technology topics, and his predictions of what was to come. His talks on what concerns business CEO’s were classic, knowledgeable, commanding and genuine. He further demonstrated a clear understanding of the importance of supply chain management to businesses and the role of advanced technology in contributing to that goal. The again, Mark had knowledge and insights in many other application technology areas as-well.

The passing of Mark Hurd is a true loss for the enterprise technology community as a whole, the loss of a genuine personality.

We extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and associates and to all the organizations that Mark has contributed to in his leadership skills, mentoring and friendships.

He will be missed.

Rest in peace.


Bob Ferrari