Oracle Gains $7 Billion On Hurd Announcement

Oracle shares jumped by nearly 6.2 per cent since Tuesday morning after the announcement that Mark Hurd, the former HP CEO, is set to join the enterprise software company as the company's co-president and the potential heir to Oracle's CEO, Larry Ellison.

The rise now means that Oracle's market capitalisation has reached nearly $122 billion, roughly $7 billion more than it was the previous morning, a clear signal to its competitors, most of which - like Sybase, HP, SAP and CA, lost ground yesterday during a rather rocky session.

Even the potential impact of a lawsuit by Hurd's former employee, HP, did not distract Wall Street from the potential asset that Oracle has managed to snatch before any other major company could swoop in.

The move came after Larry Ellison openly criticised the HP board for allowing Hurd, who steered HP successfully through hard times by implementing a number of hard hitting cost cutting exercises after major acquisitions like 3Com, Palm and EDS.

The fact that Oracle itself has purchased a number of big companies - including BEA Systems and Sun Microsystems over the last few years - means that Hurd's past experience and qualities as a leader in a hybrid hardware/software/services company are welcomed onboard.

More importantly, Oracle and HP are both increasingly becoming rivals in each other's courtyard; the acquisition of Sun Microsystems last year by Oracle made it a direct competitor to HP.