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Oracle Shares Swell As Hurd Boards Ship

Oracle shares jumped on the news that former HP CEO Mark Hurd was joining Oracle's ranks and replacing long-time president Charles Phillips.

Oracle shares surged more than 7 percent in pre-market trading on Tuesday, with shares exceeding $24 on a volume of more than 635,000. Oracle shares were trading at $22.92 when the market closed on Friday.

The upswing follows a strong fourth quarter showing for Oracle, which in June reported revenue of $9.5 billion, up 39 percent from $6.9 billion in the same quarter the previous year. Net income, meanwhile, grew 25 percent to $2.4 billion from $1.9 billion one year before. The positive fourth quarter pushed Oracle to total reported revenue of $26.8 billion for all of fiscal 2010, a 15 percent increase from the $23.3 billion it reported in fiscal 2009.

Oracle's swell comes as the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based software and hardware company announced that Hurd will take over the role long held by Oracle President Charles Phillips, who was seen by some as a potential replacement for Hurd at HP.

Hurd resigned from HP in August following a sexual harassment investigation that was ruled unfounded.

Hurd will work alongside another president at Oracle, Safra Catz, and will report directly to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

"Mark did a brilliant job at HP and I expect he'll do even better at Oracle," Ellison said in a statement. "There is no executive in the IT world with more relevant experience than Mark."

Hurd, in the same statement, added: "I believe Oracle's strategy of combining software with hardware will enable Oracle to beat IBM in both enterprise servers and storage...We have some exciting new systems we are going to announce later this month at Oracle OpenWorld. I'm excited to be a part of the most innovative technology team in the IT industry."

Upon Hurd's arrival, Phillips will exit. Phillips has been seen as Oracle's second in command since he took the president spot in 2003. Ellison said Phillips had asked to leave the company in December and stayed on through the integration of Sun, which Oracle acquired last year for $7.4 billion.

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