HP sues Mark Hurd over new Oracle job

8 Sep 2010

After allowing former CEO Mark Hurd to step down in recent weeks, HP is now suing him over his appointment as co-president of Oracle, citing serious ‘strategic advantages’ it would have and knowledge of HP’s strengths and weaknesses.

HP, the biggest technology company in the world, is suing Hurd in an attempt to stop him taking up his new position at Oracle.

HP warned that the appointment would reveal valuable trade secrets and confidential information.

Hurd stepped down as HP CEO over questions about his expenses. This came after an allegation of sexual harassment by a female consultant, however HP found it did not break its policy on the subject.

Yesterday, Siliconrepublic reported that Hurd, a friend of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, was to take up the role of co-president of the company, reporting to Ellison. It is speculated that Hurd could help Oracle continue the integration of Sun Microsystems, after purchasing the company for $7bn.

“Mark did a brilliant job at HP and I expect he’ll do even better at Oracle,” said Ellison yesterday. “There is no executive in the IT world with more relevant experience than Mark.”

In its suit, HP said Oracle would gain a strategic advantage in terms of where to allocate resources and exploit knowledge of HP’s weaknesses.

HP and Oracle have worked closely together over the last 25 years in aligning their software, storage and hardware strategies.

Oracle CEO Ellison has been scathing of the way HP treated Hurd. “The HP board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago,” he said in an email to the New York Times.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years