If you are still looking for the answer on this one, ESRI Support helped me write a hyperlink VB script for this. It is working well as long as I include the full path to the Excel table. Still need to figure out why it is not working with relative path.
Jan 11 2014 12:18 PM
Copy/paste the text below into the hyperlink script window in your layer properties. Make sure you have two text fields in your attribute table, "Workbook" contains the path and name of the spreadsheet.xls and "Sheet" contains the name of the specific worksheet.