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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 March, 2005, 21:33 GMT 22:33 UK
HP appoints new chief executive
Mark Hurd
Mr Hurd is well thought of in the computer industry
Hewlett-Packard has appointed Mark Hurd as its new chief executive, the computer giant has confirmed.

Mr Hurd, currently head of smaller US computer services group NCR, will replace Carly Fiorina, who was ousted from HP in February.

HP's shares closed up 8.1% in Tuesday trading in New York, following initial speculation of Mr Hurd's appointment.

Mr Hurd, 48, is credited with turning around the fortunes of NCR since he took over the top job in March 2003.

Ms Fiorina, one of the most powerful businesswomen in the US, left HP after a dispute with the company's board over future strategy.

Mr Hurd will take her place on 1 April.

Highly considered

Some analysts said he was a surprise choice, given the relatively small size of NCR in comparison to HP.

MARK HURD'S CV
Born in 1957 in New York City
Educated on tennis scholarship at Baylor University, Texas
Joined NCR in 1980 after brief spell as pro tennis player
Became NCR's CEO in March 2003, after serving as president since 2001 and being named chief operating officer in 2002.

"While this is a huge stretch for Mark (in terms of the scale and size of HP), he is a very capable executive who did a great job with Teradata, part of NCR," said Bruce Richardson, senior vice president of AMR Research.

Mr Richardson said it was "a surprise pick, but one with high potential".

In contrast to Ms Fiorina's marketing background, Mr Hurd is firmly rooted in technology manufacturing, representing a return to HP's tech-centric roots.

He has eschewed her "superstar CEO" style in favour of a more down-to-earth approach.

He has accepted a $2m joining bonus and a four-year contract offering him $1.4m a year and the chance to buy 700,000 shares, all of which will be sellable by the end of the contract.

'Mini-HP'

During Mr Hurd's tenure as chief executive at Ohio-based NCR, the firm's share price has more than quadrupled while profits have soared.

Carly Fiorina
Carly Fiorina left HP in February

In January NCR reported a 55% rise in fourth-quarter income, and a 9% increase in sales to $1.79bn (955m).

Aside from the difference in scale - HP has annual sales of some $80bn, more than 13 times NCR's - there are similarities between the two firms - and one person quoted by the Wall Street Journal said Hurd "has run a mini HP".

Part of NCR's recent success has been in landing lucrative service contracts, an area in which HP has struggled against competitors such as IBM.

It has also lost ground to Dell in particular in the personal computer marketplace.

The company's $19bn purchase of rival Compaq - a move pushed through directly by Ms Fiorina - was not considered a success.

It was this, and her failure to hit HP's profits targets, which led to her dispute with the company's board and subsequent departure.




SEE ALSO:
Fiorina resigns as chief of HP
09 Feb 05 |  Business
More power to the people says HP
08 Jan 05 |  Technology
HP shares tumble on profit news
12 Aug 04 |  Business
Hewlett Packard still struggling
19 Aug 03 |  Business


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