Maybe it is the Marshawn Lynch effect – most everyone is squirming this week as the NFL forces him to make mandatory media appearances in the run up to the Super Bowl. But I felt bad for Mark Hurd of Oracle being made to endure 25+ questions on personal life in this BusinessInsider interview. Why should the man not be allowed to keep his parents and kids away from media scrutiny?
The thing is Mark makes a fascinating executive interview. Every time I meet him, I learn something new from his broad career. It could be a manufacturing nuance from his NCR days, a supply chain or data center factoid from HP, an executive pov on human resources or digital marketing from his Oracle experience. He presides over a mind boggling portfolio of SaaS, PaaS and IaaS products at Oracle. How does he keep his Reteks straight from his Eloquas? How does he comfortably present in Dubai one day and Shanghai soon after?
Mark is pretty media savvy and am sure handled the interview well. He good naturedly ribs me about something or another every time I meet him. But the interview also missed a couple of opportunities to follow up on statements he made:
"My number-one issue with customers is this statement: 'I didn’t know you did that. I didn’t know you had that.'"
“If you ask me, would we want to change places with SAP or IBM? No. Let me say that again. No.”
To each their own. Of course, I love to discuss sports and hobbies with executives I meet, but there are so many business intricacies to discuss with them.