It’s getting to be ancient history at this point, but Mark Hurd’s ouster at HP is one of those stories that looms large.Since Hurd was fired at HP, the company has been in a tailspin.
He was ousted as CEO of the company for fudging expense reports related to an inappropriate relationship he kept with Jodie Fisher, a b-movie actress who was a hostess for HP events.
Despite the scandal that engulfed Hurd’s departure, he had an unlikely ally in his fight to stay at HP.
Steve Jobs was willing to help Hurd retain his job as CEO, according to a new Bloomberg BusinessWeek story on HP.
Three days after Hurd was fired, Jobs emailed Hurd to ask if he needed someone to talk to. After all, Jobs knew what it was like to dumped from a company by the board. Hurd met with Jobs at his home and the two went on one of those famous Steve Jobs-walks, says Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
During their walk, “Jobs pleaded with Hurd to do whatever it took to set things right with the board so that Hurd could return. Jobs even offered to write a letter to HP’s directors and to call them up one by one,” says Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
It didn’t matter. Hurd didn’t go back to HP, and didn’t take Jobs up on the offer.
The reason Jobs was trying to keep Hurd at HP is because of his love of HP. When Jobs was a teenager he looked up Bill Hewlett in the phone book and called him because need spare parts for something he was building. Hewlett gave Jobs a summer job at HP in addition to the spare parts.
HP was one of the most influential tech companies in Silicon Valley. Its destruction bothered Jobs. He told his biographer, “Hewlett and Packard built a great company, and they thought they had left it in good hands. But now it’s being dismembered and destroyed. I hope I’ve left a stronger legacy so that will never happen at Apple.”