March 29, 2005 2:34 PM PST

New HP head was NCR's turnaround artist

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NCR's Mark Hurd, who's been tapped to become Hewlett-Packard's next CEO, may indeed be the right man for the job, according to at least one analyst.

Others aren't convinced yet--but rest assured that all are looking at his track record for signs of what's to come.


Related story
Hurd signs on
as new HP chief

Hurd's appointment
comes as HP struggles
to fire on all cylinders
in the wake of
the Compaq buy.

"He's got the right resume (for HP), and he's been working for a solid company," said IDC's Roger Kay. "The story on NCR is more or less: It's been (pulled) back from the brink."

The appointment of Hurd, 48, comes less than two months after HP ousted former CEO Carly Fiorina.

Hurd is probably best known for his work in helping NCR--owner of Teradata and a maker of automated teller machines, point-of-sale terminals and other technologies--recover from financial ills of years past.

In 2001, NCR dropped its earnings estimates by 40 percent during one quarter, as slowed spending on data warehousing technology caught up with the company. But during 2003, the year he was chosen to take the helm of NCR, Hurd helped the company's net income nearly quintuple, from $58 million, or 61 cents a share, to $285 million, or $2.97 a share.

As part of the turnaround effort, Hurd was credited with slashing NCR's spending.

Hurd has also been credited with building the company's Teradata data warehousing business, which generated $1.2 billion of NCR's $5.9 billion in sales in 2004. Overall, the company's revenue grew by almost 7 percent last year.

Kay said that before Hurd took over, NCR had declined unnecessarily under the oversight of AT&T, which spun off the company in 1997. Kay credits Hurd with helping drive its resurgence.

"I thought (NCR) was very innovatively positioned in about 1980 or 1981, and AT&T kind of mismanaged it," Kay said. "What's likely is that Mark Hurd and his colleagues have spent the past decade or so trying to

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