Monday, 25 October 2010

Testosterone and medicine


It has been repeated in many different media that Larry Ellison (66), Pontifex Maximus at The Oracle finds IBM as its ultimate foe, or, more politically correct, its number one competitor.

That very same Pontifex Maximus, in a questionable move, recently hired a certain Mark Hurd (53), former CEO at HP, to join its board of directors, and serve as President for Sales and Marketing.

Hurd’s hiring started a controversial action from its former employer that involved a lawsuit filed against him on the grounds of potential disclosure of HP’s confidential information, which was finally settled for a bunch of dollars in stock, in our opinion. In the meantime, Larry Ellison, contrary to what could have been expected from his reputation, kept what could be thought of as a prudent silence, yet quite eloquent for our taste.

This last move was made at the expense of Charles Phillips (50), who has to leave his comfortable armchair to Ellison’s tennis buddy.

Charles Phillips

Charles Phillips, as we have mentioned in an earlier post to this blog, showed some habits that made Mr Hurd a natural replacement for him, by the way…

Funny enough, the now well known emulator of Tiger Woods has been appointed CEO at Infor, Not as important as the Oracle, still relevant in direct competition to Larry’s company.

Well, curiously enough, guess which are Infor’s strategic partners… Do you find the explicit references to something big and blue?

We have no idea of the details in Charles Phillips severance package from the Oracle, if any, nor we know anything about potential lawsuits against him from The Oracle in the name of Ethics or anything like that. We do not know if the Pontifex Maximus will be able to hold his mouth and prevents his tongue to be unleashed. We do not know either if Phillips plays tennis with Infor execs… But you would need to agree with me that the story is too good to keep it unwritten.

While the Pontifex Maximus tastes his own medicine, we will wonder what happens to men when they reach their fifties… is it a sudden unbalance in their testosterone index what happens at that age?

And, frankly, to those who still believe in Father Christmas and the ability of powerful public people to keep private life separate from professional life, now do you feel comfortable about having Charles Phillips advising President Obama about economic recovery? (Please note who sponsors the news)


Sirens’ songs and sirens’ screams


In times of economical slowdown and scary unemployment rates, there still can be found people that don’t seem to be lacking work for some time. It could be a good thing to see this if it were from the distance. Not for the HP Board guys, we believe, that are (again) getting stuck in legal stuff. This time it is Saginaw Police and Fire Pension Fund who claims justice, according to Bloomberg’s

Not at all good for the company they lead, as legal issues do not usually add value to shareholders, do they? Can HP afford losing more time, energy, resources and ultimately its reputation?

It may be argued that the main target here is (again) Mark Hurd, CEO at HP for the matter of this lawsuit. Still some names from the HP Board are being included there. But yet, the issue with finger-pointing Hurd is that he is just the main face standing for HP before court.

Will this impact Oracle too? We believe the impact in Oracle will not be significant. After all, Hurd has two strong execs to back him up at home, Larry Ellison as CEO and Safra-Katz as co-president. They will be able to manage, as they would even in the case that Hurd could be 100% on board. Still the guy’s reputation will be stained once more.

Time will let us know what goes on with this story, but we cannot help a compassionate smile after how fishy the guy is getting by the day: Trapped by Fisher-woman, haunted by the siren chants from the Oracle, chased by the siren screams from the Police and Fire Depts at Saginaw, Michigan.

We wonder how the guy would answer an invitation for dinner in a seafood restaurant…



They might hear…


Many times in their lives, in many different aspects of it, people have gone through having an idea, having a contribution to make to someone else, trying to improve things, attempting to feel valuable for themselves.

In those few cases where an eloquent and awkward, yet devastating silence is not the easy answer of those who already have made their minds up, it is not uncommon to get a polite smile back together with nice sounding words: “I hear you, but…”

These words are usually just a standard introduction to enumerating all the reasons that person has to let you know in front of everybody in the room how stupid you have been for attempting to speak up, and to make sure you understand your opinion will be treated with kingly disregard. The real plain translation is more about “I already made my mind up; I have been magnanimous enough to let you know about my thoughts.Now shut up, and do as you are told”.

Someone said that courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is as well what it takes to sit down and listen; he was awarded a Nobel Prize, by the way.

How many times will we still miss a reply starting with “I listen to you, and…”