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Monday, September 06, 2010, 08:30 pm PT (11:30 pm ET)

Former HP exec Mark Hurd hired as Oracle co-president

Mark Hurd, whose departure from HP had been compared to Steve Jobs' exit from Apple in 1985, is headed to Oracle where he will serve as co-president and join the board of directors.

Oracle announced the news late Monday. The hiring adds yet another layer to an already drama-filled Silicon Valley saga.

In early August, HP ousted Hurd amid allegations of financial misconduct and sexual harassment. Oracle founder Larry Ellison, a close friend of Hurd's, criticized the decision by comparing the situation to when Jobs, Ellison's "best friend," was forced out of Apple in the 1980s.

"The HP board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago," Ellison wrote. "That decision nearly destroyed Apple and would have if Steve hadn't come back and saved them."

By first defending then hiring Hurd, Ellison has now "put his money where his controversial mouth is," wrote Ashlee Vance of The New York Times. Hurd will replace Charles E. Phillips Jr. as co-president. Earlier this year, Phillips admitted to having an affair after a woman he had been seeing made details of their relationship public.

Hurd had been widely praised for his work at HP, where he grew the company into the largest PC maker in the U.S.

In his new role, Hurd will oversee "sales, marketing and software support."