That's the unsentimental take from Chuck House, director of Stanford University's Industry Affiliate research program on media and tech. From his blog:
This guy was a thug, nicknamed Mark Turd by ex-HPites who worked directly for him -- stories that have circulated in the Valley for three years. He raped HP employees (figuratively, without violating the sexual conduct code at HP) by eliminating the sixty-five year concept of profit sharing, preferring to move to obscene bonuses for himself and his five top minions -- a mere $113 million payout for them in a year he chopped everyone else's pay by 5% plus profit-sharing. These were raises for some of the five people by as much as 400% -- a tidy uptick. He was profane, a bully, autocratic, threatening, demeaning, vindictive, and rude. Blogs over the weekend by current employees said "Hooray, the tyrant is gone!" I couldn't contain my glee on the 11pm news -- best news for HP in a very long time!
On Glassdoor, a site where employees can anonymously rate chief executives, Hurd had the lowest employee approval rating of any major tech CEO. Just 34 percent of self-described HP employees approved of his performance; Apple CEO Steve Jobs was at 98 percent. Of course, Hurd was also responsible for adding $30 billion in revenues and tripling profits over five years. "Employee sentiment can only tell you so much, and like any review site, people with complaints are more motivated to share their feelings than people who are happy," TechCrunch notes.