Ellison warns HP: Hurd suit jeopardizes cooperation

Oracle CEO steps into dispute over former HP exec's employment

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has joined the escalating battle between Hewlett-Packard Co. and Oracle over the future employment status of HP’s former chairman and CEO, Mark Hurd.

Ellison warned the giant computer-maker in a statement released late Tuesday that its lawsuit to prevent Hurd from joining Oracle “is making it virtually impossible for Oracle and HP to continue to cooperate and work together in the IT marketplace.”

Hurd resigned from HP last month after an investigation found he had a personal relationship with a contractor who allegedly received inappropriate payments from the company.

After Oracle announced on Sept. 6 that it had hired Hurd as co-president, replacing Charles Phillips, HP filed suit in a California state court.

The lawsuit claims that Hurd couldn’t perform the job at Oracle without revealing HP trade secrets and violating a confidentiality agreement that he signed as part of a severance package from HP. 

The lawsuit notes that Hurd was responsible for preparing HP’s strategic plans and that made him privy to a “highly confidential” analysis of Oracle's competitiveness against HP.

“Oracle has long viewed HP as an important partner,” Ellison said in the statement. “By filing this vindictive lawsuit against Oracle and Mark Hurd, the HP board is acting with utter disregard for that partnership, our joint customers, and their own shareholders and employees.”

Hewlett Packard Co., of Palo Alto, Calif., ranks No. 12 on Washington Technology’s 2010 Top 100 list of the largest federal government contractors. Oracle Corp., of Redwood Shores, Calif., ranks No. 88 on the list.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

Reader Comments

Thu, Sep 9, 2010

You corporate folks fascinate me. Don't want him, but you can't do without him, he needs a job, yep, he did some boo boo. Lookin' forward to your one sided answer to this problem. Good luck corporate america!!!!!!!!!!!!

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