Just a week after Hurd resigned as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, PE shops are putting out the welcome mat. “We would love to work with him,” said one buyout firm executive. “We hear [Hurd] is fantastic at operational excellence and accountability.”
However, the source admitted he had never personally met Hurd.
Another PE source says the Hurd resignation is a “bizarre story and more has to come out…there will be a lot of PE takers.”
In case you were living under a rock, Hurd left HP after allegations of sexual harassment led to an internal probe, which turned up inaccurate expense reports and a personal relationship with an HP worker. Bloomberg News, citing analysts and recruiters, said today that Hurd, 53, may not be able to head a public company again but could find a spot in private equity.
But my very unscientific poll of buyout execs has found one consistency: Everyone wants more information on why Hurd was ousted/resigned/chased out the door. Remember, this is the CEO credited with bringing HP back from the Carly Fiorina years. HP, during Hurd’s tenure, acquired several companies like 3Com and Palm as it hit the peak of the technology world.
“I would need to know the actual facts [of his departure],” a third PE source says. “On the surface, it is hard to understand the firing and why he wasn’t just [given] a private reprimand…PE will very likely speak to him.”