Steve Jobs' Efforts to Support Ousted HP CEO Mark Hurd and Protect HP's Legacy

As part of an extensive look at HP and whether CEO Meg Whitman will be able to turn the legendary computer company around, Bloomberg Businessweek shares an anecdote revealing how Steve Jobs reached out to ousted HP CEO Mark Hurd in 2010 both to provide support and to offer assistance with repairing Hurd's relationship with HP in an unsuccessful effort to prevent the company from entering a tailspin.

Hurd's ouster at HP has been compared to Steve Jobs' departure from Apple in 1985, although Hurd was forced out over claims of sexual harassment and improper expense reports.

Three days after he’d resigned as CEO under pressure from the company’s board of directors, Hurd received an e-mail from Steve Jobs. The Apple founder wanted to know if Hurd needed someone to talk to. [...]

Hurd met Jobs at his home in Palo Alto, according to people who know both men but did not wish to be identified, compromising a personal confidence. The pair spent more than two hours together, Jobs taking Hurd on his customary walk around the tree-lined neighborhood. At numerous points during their conversation, 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.

Jobs argued that a strong HP was vital to a healthy Silicon Valley, and Jobs was worried that the company would falter following the departure of Hurd. Jobs was unsuccessful in his efforts, however, and although he would only live for another year, he did witness the fall of HP under outsider Léo Apotheker.

Jobs had quietly served as a mentor to a number of other tech industry figures, such as Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and Salesforce founder Marc Benioff. Jobs also served as mentor to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, offering advice on a broad array of topics.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
99 months ago

Steve Jobs, we miss you.


This is dumb
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
99 months ago
Steve Jobs, we miss you.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
99 months ago

Hurd's ouster at HP has been compared to Steve Jobs' departure from Apple in 1985, although Hurd was forced out over claims of sexual harassment and improper expense reports.


For some reason, I find that comparison completely absurd.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
99 months ago

Steve Jobs, gone but not forgotten.


Only the hard core Apple haters and pseudo techies (basement nerds) refuse to acknowledge that Steve Jobs had, and still has, tremendous influence over Silicon Valley. Almost all of the now famous startups were mentored or modeled their businesses after Steve Jobs and Apple. Even Microsoft, with the decision to produce the whole package of hardware and software, has been influenced over the years. That there is this hateful movement to denigrate and marginalize Jobs' and Apple's place in tech history is shameful. These people are delusional.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
99 months ago

And who is to say that HP wouldn't be exactly where they are now with or without Hurd.


After Hurd came Apotheker, who wasted one year at enormous cost to the company. If they had hired me as CEO and paid me $100 million for playing Minesweeper the company would have done better. Just publishing the idea that HP could leave the PC hardware business cost them gazillions. (You can't go and tell people that you think about leaving a business. You either do it, or you don't do it. I would have been worth the money compared to Apotheker just by playing Minesweeper and not talking about leaving the PC business).
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
99 months ago

For some reason, I find that comparison completely absurd.



I would have agreed with that had I not known how far HP has fallen since then. Since Hurd left, HP hired a software guy to run a hardware company, exited the smartphone and tablet markets (Palm purchased under Hurd) and threw away the $1.2 billion it cost to acquire them, flirted with exiting the PC business, fired the software guy, hired Meg Whitman as CEO who, as an HP board member approved the bonehead moves Apotheker made, laid off 27,000 employees after posting a profit decline of 31%, wrote off $8.8 billion from their purchase of Autonomy and increased the number of pay offs to 29,000.

I bet the HP board wishes everyday, check that, multiple times a day, that they didn't fire Hurd.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Kuo: Global iPhone Shipments Could Decline Up to 30% If Apple Forced to Remove WeChat From App Store [Updated x2]

Sunday August 9, 2020 10:17 pm PDT by
In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual global iPhone shipments could decline by 25–30% if it is forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo viewed by MacRumors. The removal could occur due to a recent executive order aiming to ban U.S. transactions with WeChat and its parent company Tencent. Kuo lays out...

Google Maps Debuts New Apple Watch App and CarPlay Features

Monday August 10, 2020 9:16 am PDT by
Google today announced the launch of several features for Google Maps on Apple products, including new CarPlay functionality and a new Google Maps app that works on Apple Watch. The new Google Maps app for Apple Watch works similarly to the iOS app, allowing Apple Watch owners to get directions for a car, bike, public transit, or on foot. The app supports estimated arrival times and...

Foxconn Reportedly Begins Seasonal Hiring Spree for iPhone 12 Production

Monday August 10, 2020 7:03 am PDT by
Apple's largest manufacturing partner Foxconn has begun its seasonal hiring spree to assist with iPhone 12 production, offering employees who recruit qualified applicants up to a 9,000 yuan bonus, according to Chinese media reports. As usual, Foxconn needs as many hands on deck as possible at its factory in Zhengzhou, China to assist with mass production of the upcoming iPhones. Apple is...

Apple May Release 4G-Only iPhone 12 in Early 2021

Tuesday August 11, 2020 5:28 am PDT by
In a research note shared by Business Insider, Wedbush Securities analysts said that Apple may release a cheaper iPhone 12 in early 2021 with no 5G connectivity. Wedbush initially believed Apple would launch a mix of 4G and 5G iPhone 12 models this fall. Following re-examination of Asian supply chains, analysts Daniel Ives, Strecker Backe, and Ahmad Khalil revised the predictions,...

2020 iMac Teardown Reveals Internal Changes and Similarities

Saturday August 8, 2020 12:44 pm PDT by
A teardown video, shared by OWC, reveals the internal changes in the new 2020 27-inch iMac. The 2020 27-inch iMac was announced earlier this week with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage, a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, higher fidelity speakers, and...

Apple Believes This German Cycling Path Logo Infringes on Its Own Logo

Wednesday May 1, 2019 9:51 am PDT by
Apple recently objected to the logo of a new German cycling path in an appeal filed with the German Patent and Trademark Office, according to German outlets General-Anzeiger Bonn and Westdeutscher Rundfunk. Apple reportedly takes issue with the logo's green leaf and supposed "bitten" right side, attributes the company believes are too similar to its own logo. The logo, registered with the ...

Apple Seeds First Public Beta of watchOS 7 to Public Beta Testers

Monday August 10, 2020 10:33 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public beta of an upcoming watchOS 7 update to public beta testers, one week after seeding the fourth beta to developers and a month and a half after the Worldwide Developers Conference. The update can be downloaded after installing the proper profile from Apple's Public Beta website. watchOS 7 should not be installed on a primary device as it is still an early...

Apple Watch Likely to Adopt MicroLED Display Technology in 3-4 Years

Monday August 10, 2020 2:55 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 6 is expected to feature an OLED screen like previous models, but a future model is likely to be the first Apple product to adopt MicroLED display technology, albeit not for another three to four years. That's the main takeaway reading between the lines of comments made by the chairman of Epistar, Taiwan's top LED producer, which is reportedly working on a...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...