Businessweek says NCR boss Mark Hurd is "high on the short list" to become Carly Fiorina??s replacement as Hewlett-Packard CEO. On paper he sounds like a good candidate -- so do a lot of other gainfully employed chief execs inside and outside the technology business -- but the handicapping speculation still begs the bigger question: why bother?
I don't mean to be smug but why would any CEO of sound mind want this headache? This isn't the same as Lou Gerstner arriving at IBM in 1993 to save the day. When Gerstner replaced John Akers, he was given carte blanche. The company was on all fours and IBM??s board was desperate for somebody to rescue the situation. (Remember, Akers' plan was to break IBM up into "Baby Blues.")
With HP, the board is saying, "Hey, we basically like the strategic plan. It??s just a matter of execution." Whoever takes the job under those conditions will need more than supreme talent. He or she will need quite a lucky shamrock as well.