Mark Hurd might
have been described as vanilla and the antithesis of his flashy
predecessor, but the new HP CEO certainly sparkled in the investment
game this spring. Government securities reports showed that Hurd sold
a massive block of stock in NCR, the company he led as CEO, about six
weeks before he took the HP job.
Press report quoted an HP spokesman as saying theres
no question whatsoever about the propriety of [Hurds stock
sales]. Hurd sold more than 145,000 shares of NCR stock in
February and March. The first sale occurred in the week before HP CEO
Carly Fiorina was ousted. The second took place March 2-3. HP said
its recruiters contacted Hurd after the second sale.
The NCR stock
sale earned Hurd $2.3 million. NCRs shares fell 17 percent the
day he announced he would take the HP CEO job and leave NCR. HP is
protecting Hurd against declines in NCR stock under a provision in
his employment agreement. HP will reimburse him for as much as 20
percent of the decline in the NCR stock price until June 30. He can
exercise stock options covering 850,184 NCR shares and now holds
was still working to recover to its Hurd mark in mid-April, even
after the company had tripled
its profit estimates. In the meantime, HPs stock remained
near $20, about a dollar less than its value on the day HP ousted
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