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Low-key NCR veteran to run HP

Hurd is credited with turnaround at Ohio company

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Hewlett-Packard Co. named Mark Hurd, a low-key longtime NCR Corp. executive, yesterday to replace the ousted Carly Fiorina as president and chief executive. HP shares rose more than 10 percent.

Hurd, 48, resigned yesterday as president and chief executive of NCR and takes charge at HP on April 1. Hurd joined Dayton, Ohio-based NCR, a computer services company perhaps best known for its ATM machines, in 1980 and quietly spearheaded an ambitious turnaround when he became chief executive in March 2003.

Hurd -- the antithesis of the celebrity chief executive -- is a sharp contrast to Fiorina. She was one of the country's most powerful female executives, a media-savvy marketing specialist who was fired for not slashing costs or boosting profit quickly after HP's merger with Compaq Computer Corp. in 2002.

Hurd isn't well known on Wall Street or in the financial media but enjoys a solid a reputation among business specialists as a relentless cost-cutter familiar with nearly every facet of management.

Hurd's selection wasn't revealed until after the market closed.

Business specialists praised the decision and said Hurd's appointment marks a break with the strategies of Fiorina, who was loathed by many HP employees as a management specialist devoid of engineering expertise.

NCR operates data warehouses that store countless bits of information from corporate customers. The company also sells ''relationship management" software that helps companies keep track of customers and their orders.

Before he took the helm of NCR, Hurd was president and chief operating officer. In 1999, he led NCR's lucrative Teradata warehouse division and before that he held jobs in marketing, professional services and sales.

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