Image by jdlasica via Flickr
While Mark Hurd crashed and burned last week, little changed about the technology work going on at HP. Engineers still designed, software programmers still developed and life most definitely went on. Except for the messy details to be worked out between Hurd and his wife, the drama is in the rear view mirror for most people.
As stupid and immature as the whole seedy mess appears to have been (Bill Clinton, anyone?), it really has little to do with the day-to-day work that goes on at a large company like HP. Sure, it was probably a shock to have the CEO hit the gossip pages (or perhaps it wasn't, who knows), but either way, the plans in place are still in place and the work continues.
Wall Street seemed to love Hurd. He made the kind of decisions, regular folks on the street don't like very much like mandatory pay cuts, layoffs and building closures. He was apparently "effective" as far as it went and if he could have kept it in his pants he would probably still be rolling along today. People who keep profits up (even if it's on the backs of his own employees) are in demand you know.
The CEO is the face of the company, so this whole episode has to be embarrassing to that extent, but the company should be fine. It will still produce printers and computers and later this year or early next perhaps a new tablet. There will still be servers and storage and consulting, oh my.
Sure Hurd is gone. Investors may fret for a bit, but if all things remain equal, and there's little reason to believe they won't, the position will be filled and the company will continue. Hurd will get his golden parachute and probably land neatly, perhaps at Oracle, or maybe in some cushy Wall Street job getting pay back for all those profits he generated when he was fab.