Hewlett-Packard names NCR's Hurd as chief

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The Independent Online

Hewlett-Packard was on the brink of filling its chief executive's slot yesterday. It was left empty after the board ousted the high-profile Carly Fiorina last month.

Ms Fiorina's replacement is expected to be Mark Hurd, currently the chief executive of NCR, a maker of cash machines and other electronics for retail and financial companies.

Shares in Hewlett-Packard rose in New York on the news that its search for a new chief executive has been concluded, while stock in NCR fell.

Mr Hurd is not one of America's most prominent businessmen but Wall Street believes he has done a good job at NCR, based in Dayton, Ohio. Having joined the company in 1980, he has run it since February 2003 and stemmed its shrinking sales.

Hewlett-Packard forced Ms Fiorina to step down after five years at the helm of the company. Some directors and investors lost confidence in her vision for the company and felt she did not have the right strategy to reinvigorate sales and to deal with the computer and printing giant's faltering share price.

Mr Hurd, who is expected to join Hewlett-Packard within the next few weeks, will serve as president and chief executive. Patricia Dunn, a director who was rumoured to have been instrumental in ousting Ms Fiorina, is expected to retain the title of chairwoman.

In late January, NCR reported that its fourth-quarter net income had surged 55 per cent and it raised its 2005 earnings forecast for the second time in nine days.