HP Sues Mark Hurd, Oracle Threatens Walkout From Partnership

What a way to start out the week after the long weekend. Just a day after Mark Hurd, the ousted HP CEO joined Oracle as their No 2, HP filed a civil complaint against Mark Hurd stating that HP was looking to protect HP’s trade secrets which Hurd as CEO had full access to.

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The full complaint which can also be viewed here, states:

Despite being paid millions of dollars in cash, stock and stock options in exchange for Hurd’s agreements to protect HP’s trade secrets and confidential information during his employment and following his departure from his positions at HP as Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, and President, HP is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Hurd has put HP’s most valuable trade secrets and confidential information in peril.  Hurd accepted positions with Oracle Corporation (Oracle), a competitor of HP, yesterday as its President and as a member of its Board of Directors.  In his new positions, Hurd will be in a situation in which he cannot perform his duties for Oracle without necessarily using and disclosing HP’s trade secrets and confidential information to others.

This quickly blew into a snow ball with several blogs and newspapers covering it. Oracle though did not wait long to respond to the lawsuit and in a small but terse response said that it would become difficult to continue working in partnership with HP.

Oracle in its statement, which can be viewed here, said:

Oracle has long viewed HP as an important partner,said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. 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.   The HP Board is making it virtually impossible for Oracle and HP to continue to cooperate and work together in the IT marketplace.

Oracle is not new to lawsuits, with them filing one against Google for the operating system over licensing issues with Java, which they acquired from Sun. With the HP lawsuit, it looks like Oracle will soon lose another long time partner.

(Source: Techmeme)

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