Mark Hurd was a prominent figure in the tech industry, who served as the co-CEO of Oracle and the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. He passed away on October 18, 2019, at the age of 62, after taking a medical leave of absence from Oracle a month earlier. Many people have wondered what kind of illness he had and how it affected his life and career. In this article, we will try to answer some of the common questions about Mark Hurd’s illness.
Who Was Mark Hurd?
Mark Hurd was born on January 1, 1957, in New York City. He graduated from Baylor University in 1979 with a degree in business administration. He started his career as a junior salesman at NCR Corporation in 1980 and rose through the ranks to become the CEO and president of the company in 2003.
In 2005, he joined Hewlett-Packard as the CEO and president, succeeding Carly Fiorina who had resigned over policy differences following the Compaq merger. He also became the chairman of the board in 2006 after Patricia Dunn resigned due to the pretexting controversy. Under his leadership, HP became the leader in sales of laptop computers, desktop computers, inkjet printers, and laser printers. He also oversaw several acquisitions, including Mercury Interactive, EDS, Palm, and 3Com.
However, his tenure at HP was not free of scandals. In 2010, he resigned amid a sexual harassment claim against him by Jodie Fisher, a former contractor for Oracle. HP concluded that although Hurd had not violated the company’s policy on sexual harassment, he did fail to comply with its standards. He also faced allegations of falsifying expense reports to conceal his relationship with Fisher.
Shortly after his departure from HP, he joined Oracle as the co-president in 2010. He was hired by Ellison, who defended him against the accusations from HP and called them “the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago”. In 2014, he was promoted to co-CEO along with Safra Catz, while Ellison became the chief technology officer. He was responsible for overseeing Oracle’s global sales operations, marketing strategy, customer service, and cloud business.
Mark Hurd was known for his operational excellence, strategic vision, customer focus, and charismatic leadership. He was also an avid tennis player and a generous philanthropist. He donated millions of dollars to Baylor University for various initiatives, including a new business school named after him. He also supported causes such as education reform, cancer research, veterans affairs, and environmental conservation.
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What Was Mark Hurd’s Illness?
Mark Hurd revealed in September 2019 that he was taking a medical leave of absence from Oracle due to unspecified health reasons. He said in a statement that he needed “time focused on my health” and that he loved Oracle and wished everyone success during his absence. However, he did not disclose the nature or severity of his illness, leaving many people wondering what was wrong with him.
A few days after his death, word spread on Reddit that Mark Hurd had died from cancer. This was later confirmed by Oracle chairman Larry Ellison, who said in an email to employees that Hurd had been “battling cancer for several months” and that he had “put up an incredibly brave fight” until the end. Ellison also said that Hurd had been “a close and irreplaceable friend” and that he would miss his “kindness and sense of humor”.
Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd “will take a leave of absence for health-related reasons,” the company announced. His message to staff is below:
Developing: Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd “will take a leave of absence for health related reasons,” according to the database giant today. Below is his message to staff… pic.twitter.com/igEY83Wulp
— The Register (@TheRegister) September 11, 2019
What Type of Cancer Did Mark Hurd Have?
The exact type of cancer that Hurd had was never publicly disclosed, but reports indicated that it was a serious and life-threatening condition. According to Bloomberg, at one stage in 2018, a person close to Hurd said he was suffering from a blood-related ailment. There were also rumors about Hurd’s condition among the financial analysts who study Oracle, but their opinions varied from viewing his health as a private matter to wanting Oracle to be more forthcoming.
How Did Mark Hurd Die?
Mark Hurd died on October 18, 2019, early in the morning, according to Ellison’s email. The exact time and place of his death were not made public, nor were the details of his funeral or memorial service. He is survived by his wife, Paula, and two daughters.
Mark Hurd, co-CEO of Oracle, passed away at the age of 62:
BREAKING: Mark Hurd, co-CEO of Oracle, dies at 62 https://t.co/ze46QmZKOV
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) October 18, 2019
Mark Hurd’s death came as a shock to many people in the tech world, who expressed their condolences and tributes on social media. Some of the prominent figures who mourned his loss included Apple CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Dell CEO Michael Dell, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, and former HP CEO Meg Whitman.
Mark Hurd was one of the most successful and admired CEOs in the history of the tech industry. He led two of the largest and most influential companies in the world: Hewlett-Packard and Oracle. He transformed them into more profitable and competitive enterprises with his innovative and customer-centric approach. He also left a lasting impact on millions of people who worked with him, learned from him, and benefited from his generosity. He died from cancer on October 18, 2019, leaving behind a legacy of excellence and inspiration.