Reading Rob's perspective on the the latest hiring of new CEO to HP (Posted on BusinessPundit "Did HP Over-correct a Mistake?") and the human aspect of the decision makers does seem to be interesting also for me.
I have read the original press release as posted on HP's site and I found few statements that can enforce Ron's argument - I have highlighted them in this excerpt:
Excerpt: "Mark came to our attention because of his strong execution skills, his proven ability to lead top performing teams and his track record in driving shareholder value. He demonstrated these skills by turning around NCR, which, while smaller than HP, is a complex organization with multiple business segments. As we got to know Mark, we were impressed by his emphasis on developing internal talent while reaching outside for new skills, his understanding of the role of culture in a company's success and his personal integrity. Additionally, his straightforward style has won the respect of employees, customers and investors," continued Dunn.
If we consider the points that Patricia Dunn, HP's non-executive chairman decided to mention as the good and important qualities the new CEO has then the contrast to HP's ex-CEO can be more clearer.
Another fragment from the same release "Our search for a new leader to return HP to sustained success has been focused and thorough," said Dunn. - Achieving "sustained success" can also mean wishing for stability sometimes - Something that seems to be missing in their eyes.
If we are leaving for a moment the board's rationale and reasons for taking this decision and focusing on the perspective of the new CEO on his new job I have found the next text in the feature story accompanied with the original press release on HP's site:
Hurd said, “HP is one of the world’s great companies, with a proud history of innovation, outstanding talent and enviable positions in many of its product lines and services. It’s a great honor to join its leadership team and have the opportunity to build on its success.”
Reading Hurd's viewpoint on what HP is and should be can strengthen your point about the contrast effect happening here - The three most important qualities mentioned by Hurd seem to require CEO qualities such as vision and "flair" as described in the original article and less execution-driven management.