Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd has died at the age of 62 a little more than a month after he took a leave from the company for health-related reasons.
Oracle itself did not elaborate on the details surrounding Hurd’s health at the time of his leave and the company did not provide details on the circumstances of his death on Friday.
The company had been run by two CEOs: Hurd and Safra Catz, who remarked in September that "we understand that he needs to rest and take care of himself."
Hurd was brought on by Oracle in 2010 to serve as president after he had resigned from Hewlett-Packard following a sexual harassment investigation at that company, in which Hurd was found in violation of HP's Standards of Business Conduct, though not its sexual harassment policy. Before his role at Hewlett-Packard, Hurd was CEO at National Cash Register Corp. (NCR).
Hurd became Oracle’s CEO in 2014 after Larry Ellison stepped down from that position and created a dual CEO role with both Hurd and Catz at the helm. Ellison is currently the vendor’s chairman and chief technology officer.
In an online posting, Ellison said “Mark was my close and irreplaceable friend, and trusted colleague. Oracle has lost a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle. All of us will miss Mark’s keen mind and rare ability to analyze, simplify and solve problems quickly. Some of us will miss his friendship and mentorship. I will miss his kindness and sense of humor. Mark leaves his beloved wife Paula, two wonderful daughters who were the joy of his life, and his much larger extended family here at Oracle who came to love him.”
In a 2011 CRN USA profile, Hurd was credited with laying the foundation for Oracle's channel charge.
“For this to be interesting it has got to be strategically sound for Oracle,’ said Hurd of the channel march at the time. “Therefore, sustainable for the channel partner to invest. It has got to be structural. It has got to be strategic. It has got to be thoughtful.”
He garnered praise throughout his career as a supporter of the channel, though he eschewed the label “channel zealot,” saying instead that utilizing a channel strategy was just “right.”
“It is just the right way to run the business. And I think that, for channel partners, this view that it is sort of like some affection [is not right]. It is not. It is just good business,” Hurd told CRN USA. “I actually believe strategically what I told you is right. So, therefore, you are not a channel zealot. You are just a zealot to get the model right. To get the strategy right.”
Under Hurd’s leadership, Oracle embarked on its mission to conquer the burgeoning cloud sector - competing against the likes of cloud titans Amazon, Microsoft and Google. In 2016, Oracle announced the acquisition of cloud computing firm NetSuite for US$9.3 billion. Hurd also secured deals with AT&T, Bank of America, and Qantas Airlines, helping bring their existing databases to the cloud.
In fiscal 2019, Oracle’s cloud services and license support revenues plus cloud license and on-premise revenues stood at US$32.6 billion, a two percent increase from the previous year.