Boys will be boys even in Silicon Valley. Wall Street does not have a monopoly on arrogance or audacious wealth. Just watch all of the hoopla about one, white male software executive - the now illustrious Mark Hurd. Gone are the days of his strong, silent and often stoic demeanor that was so compelling to the fuddy-duddy folks at HP. Rescued at the eleventh hour --by none other than bad boy gunslinger, Larry Ellison of the giant software company Oracle. Alas, Hurd appears to be on track to join Silicon Valley's billionaire boys club. Forget about that paltry severance pay of $40M. Hurd has gained entrée to the big, big time. The threat of lawsuits from HP - be damned!
It's a great story: sex (alleged sex), sizzle, money, greed and power. Nobody really knows why Hurd was ousted from conservative HP. Did he sleep with the actress turned professional tech business schmoozer or just romance her? Did he cover up expenses? Frankly, no one really cares about a random $20,000 when the guy is raking in millions for himself and his then company, HP. He doubled the book value in five years. So this is not from which you fire a white, male CEO. In these circles, the norm involves --wink, wink, nod, nod. The hand is slapped. Life goes on without bringing in the high priced lawyers, public relations firms, and crisis management shops like APCO Worldwide to handle his dismissal.
Boy of boy, it is a story that keeps on giving good copy. Mark's a hero. The billionaire boys close ranks and take care of their own. It is remarkable to watch, and it sure is different from how women CEO's and executives have been treated even in this so called libertarian culture. Frankly, when was the last time that a female CEO was picked up by any part of her proverbial anatomy after fighting with her Board of Directors? And if she was fortunate enough to be helped back to her feet by some kind soul, when was the last time that she was anointed to hero status in a few short weeks? It's just freaking amazing! Yeah, yeah, yeah Carly and Meg both got their money, but NO ONE reached out a hand - male or female. The reality is that it's still a good old boys club. The glass ceiling is well intact. The "Texas handshake" still exists -- even for the youngster Peter Pan-like new white boys of social media. In the end, it causes one to ponder when it will ever change for women folk. Would Hillary in the White House have moved the dial forward or are we still in the gender battles of the last generations?
For reference materials for this article please check out the pearltree below. It includes materials gathered by others when researching Mark Hurd and HP.