Steve Jobs, not particularly known for his kind nature towards competitors and their employees, tried to help keep Mark Hurd the CEO by offering the man advice, as well as saying that he would call each of HP’s board members individually and put in a good word for Hurd:
Three days after he’d resigned as CEO under pressure from the company’s board of directors, Hurd received an e-mail from Steve Jobs. The Apple founder wanted to know if Hurd needed someone to talk to. [...]
Hurd met Jobs at his home in Palo Alto, according to people who know both men but did not wish to be identified, compromising a personal confidence. The pair spent more than two hours together, Jobs taking Hurd on his customary walk around the tree-lined neighborhood. At numerous points during their conversation, Jobs pleaded with Hurd to do whatever it took to set things right with the board so that Hurd could return. Jobs even offered to write a letter to HP’s directors and to call them up one by one.
Mark Hurd left the CEO position amid rumors of a scandal involving him and a woman in the management structure. Hurd eventually left the company and joined Oracle and his friend Larry Ellison, who is the current Oracle CEO.
Hurd was actually known by many as being a huge proponent for innovation. Reportedly, the deal to buy Palm and use webOS to power a new class of high-end devices was put together by Hurd, but was ultimately trashed by his successor, who believed that HP should inhabit a more enterprise-compatible space at the expense of their consumer product lines.