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Hiring your competition: Do they deliver?

Kartik Sharma | July 24, 2012
For years now, Marissa Mayer, the newly appointed Yahoo CEO was one of the most visible and well-known Google executives.

For years now, Marissa Mayer, the newly appointed Yahoo CEO was one of the most visible and well-known Google executives. She was instrumental in developing many of the services that have bested Yahoo. By hiring her, Yahoo hopes that Mayer will come up with an effective strategy to compete against the juggernaut that Google has become.

Will Mayer be able to deliver results at Yahoo the way she did at Google for last 13 years? Can hiring your competitor's employee bring success to your company? There are instances when poaching from competition resulted in a success and others where it didn't do much good on a good day and proved disastrous on a bad one. Let's look at some of these cases.

Mark Hurd: 5 Years at HP; Hired by Oracle

This can be termed as one of the most controversial stories in tech world. Last year, when Mark Hurd was forced to resign as the chairman and CEO of HP in the wake of sexual harassment charges, Oracle grasped the opportunity and hired the 55-year old as its co-president.

Right after joining Oracle, Hurd has become a controversial part of an ongoing court trial between HP and Oracle. HP sued Hurd shortly after he went to Oracle in September 2010 claiming that he violated a confidentiality provision of his severance agreement. HP also voiced concerns about Oracle attempting a hostile takeover after it hired former HP CEO Mark Hurd as co-president, Oracle's lead counsel told a judge.

This executive shift might not have been proved a major move in terms of company's growth but it definitely brought a pool of controversies for Oracle.

Pat Gelsinger: 20 Years at Intel; Hired by EMC

EMC COO Pat Gelsinger, who will be the new CEO of VMware, was an Intel executive for almost 20 years before he joined EMC in 2009. He was also the first CTO of Intel Corporation.

His efforts helped Intel in restoring its market leadership with the Xeon Products and bring out the first quad-core products to market.

He brought in new initiatives within the company during his time at EMC. He was the force behind EMC's run for Big Data. Buying NAS vendor Isilon, flash-array start-up XtremIO and integrating VFCache with VMware integration are some of the accomplishments of Gelsinger's tenure. He continues to stay as a key decision maker at EMC while heading VMware.

Gelsinger's tenure at EMC is the product of executive shift from competition and appears to be a successful move by EMC.

Meg Whitman: 13 Years at eBay; Hired by HP

As a part of its dramatic changes within the organization, HP ousted its CEO Leo Apothekar from his position less than a year after he took the job and replaced him with former eBay CEO Meg Whitman. The company justified the shake up by saying that to successfully execute its strategy, the company requires "additional attributes" in its CEO, traits that Whitman possesses.


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