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Oracle Calls HP Out on ''Vindictive'' Lawsuit

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 28 comments

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has responded to a lawsuit filed by HP claiming Mark Hurd is breaching his contract by working at the software company.

Oracle only just hired Mark Hurd, but already, the new co-president's former employer is causing trouble for him. Yesterday, Hewlett Packard filed a civil suit against Hurd for allegedly breaching a contract he entered into with HP. HP believes Mark's working for a competitor puts the company's trade secrets in peril and says he signed a number of agreements during his time at HP agreeing to protect those secrets.

In a short and sweet statement, CEO of Oracle, Larry Ellison, branded the lawsuit vindictive and claimed it showed a complete disregard for the ongoing partnership between the two companies.

"Oracle has long viewed HP as an important partner," said 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."

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  • 18 Hide
    hellwig , September 8, 2010 8:52 PM
    Larry Ellison just embodies the mega-rich ego-maniacal self-centered lunatic who you just know has his own private island manned by legions of loyal soldiers donned in matching, gaudy, perhaps brightly colored uniforms. He probably has his own salt-water tank filled with sharks with laser beams attached to their heads.

    Sorry, my point is, I have no doubt Oracle (Ellison) hired Hurd for his knowledge of HPs business practices. Why else would they bring in a senior executive embroiled in a sex scandal who stole money from his former employer? The man is poison, and Oracle only hopes it can resist long enough to get enough information from him before casting him aside. Hurd won't last at Oracle any longer than he did at HP, and if I were HP, I'd surely be fighting this. It's not as if HP let him go for invalid or non-existent reasons.
  • 10 Hide
    mrecio , September 8, 2010 8:54 PM
    HP: Oracle is our Competitor and we are losing trade secrets!

    Oracle: HP is our partner why would they do this? guess we cant be friends.

    would oracle, if they really were partners, hire HP's former CEO which such a bad history if they didn't think he could provide valuable information about the inner workings of HP or there current plans in the market.

    I think HP has a legitimate civil suit here and Oracle is just trying to look like the victim for the media.
  • 10 Hide
    utengineer , September 8, 2010 9:54 PM
    I am no VP, but when excepting my job I had to agree not to work for any of my competitors OR partners for 6 months upon leaving my company for whatever reason. This is typical corporate practice when NDA's are involved. Considering Hurd's experience he brings to the table, I am sure Oracle was prepared to pay whatever penalties are involved in his hiring. The strain in can put on their corporate alliance will be what it is......a money issue.
Other Comments
  • 18 Hide
    hellwig , September 8, 2010 8:52 PM
    Larry Ellison just embodies the mega-rich ego-maniacal self-centered lunatic who you just know has his own private island manned by legions of loyal soldiers donned in matching, gaudy, perhaps brightly colored uniforms. He probably has his own salt-water tank filled with sharks with laser beams attached to their heads.

    Sorry, my point is, I have no doubt Oracle (Ellison) hired Hurd for his knowledge of HPs business practices. Why else would they bring in a senior executive embroiled in a sex scandal who stole money from his former employer? The man is poison, and Oracle only hopes it can resist long enough to get enough information from him before casting him aside. Hurd won't last at Oracle any longer than he did at HP, and if I were HP, I'd surely be fighting this. It's not as if HP let him go for invalid or non-existent reasons.
  • 10 Hide
    mrecio , September 8, 2010 8:54 PM
    HP: Oracle is our Competitor and we are losing trade secrets!

    Oracle: HP is our partner why would they do this? guess we cant be friends.

    would oracle, if they really were partners, hire HP's former CEO which such a bad history if they didn't think he could provide valuable information about the inner workings of HP or there current plans in the market.

    I think HP has a legitimate civil suit here and Oracle is just trying to look like the victim for the media.
  • 0 Hide
    jomofro39 , September 8, 2010 9:00 PM
    He does have a really good point. I had no idea that those two were in bed together. There is even a page on HP's website dedicated to their "alliance". But, I guess Oracle is a little shady, combined with the mess with the Justice Department's contracts being overpriced, to the point that a little fail-safe suit by HP is warranted, as crushing to the partnership as it is, it will definitely ensure that Hurd does not violate any NDAs, or at least that Oracle can't use the information he divulges. This one should be a long, arduous battle in the courts. Curious as to how it will turn out. I've never Hurd of such a mess.
  • 0 Hide
    smashley , September 8, 2010 9:11 PM
    Uh, one might argue that Oracle is the offender here, hiring Hurd in the first place. Seems like a sketchy move at best so soon after him resigning. Almost like the whole harassment thing was just a ruse to get out of HP and jump in bed with Oracle.
  • 0 Hide
    ArgleBargle , September 8, 2010 9:36 PM
    The lesson basically is, once you're in the CEO Club, you can do whatever you want with no repercussions. Hurd may get cast aside soon, but doubtless he will have yet another golden parachute, and will be hired within weeks as an executive at another company, to wreak havoc all over again.
  • 10 Hide
    utengineer , September 8, 2010 9:54 PM
    I am no VP, but when excepting my job I had to agree not to work for any of my competitors OR partners for 6 months upon leaving my company for whatever reason. This is typical corporate practice when NDA's are involved. Considering Hurd's experience he brings to the table, I am sure Oracle was prepared to pay whatever penalties are involved in his hiring. The strain in can put on their corporate alliance will be what it is......a money issue.
  • 6 Hide
    madeux , September 8, 2010 10:17 PM
    Larry is no idiot, whether you like him or not. He knew exactly what would happen when he hired Hurd, and he made the decision to move forward. Now, I've never been the richest man alive, and I'm not currently in the top 10, so I'm going to have to trust Larry's judgment on this one.
  • -4 Hide
    rick4937 , September 8, 2010 10:34 PM
    The anti-Hurd posters clearly have little business knowledge. Hurd is widely credited, and properly so, for returning HP to relevance. He nearly tripled the stock price during his tenure and managed several key acquisitions that substantially improved HP's competitiveness in key sectors. Did Hurd abuse his expense account? Yes. Do most executives at most large companies? Yes. Did he abuse some women? Yes. Does that at all matter? No. Large corporations are in the business of making money, and Hurd was excellent at it. Firing him, while politically convenient, was a stupid business move. Oracle was wise to grab him.
  • 0 Hide
    Stifle , September 8, 2010 10:36 PM
    mrecioHP: Oracle is our Competitor and we are losing trade secrets!Oracle: HP is our partner why would they do this? guess we cant be friends.would oracle, if they really were partners, hire HP's former CEO which such a bad history if they didn't think he could provide valuable information about the inner workings of HP or there current plans in the market.I think HP has a legitimate civil suit here and Oracle is just trying to look like the victim for the media.


    My thoughts exactly. It sounds as though Oracle found a way to get ahead of HP in the marketplace by hiring Hurd and HP had them beat from the beginning with NDA agreements Hurd signed when he left. The lawsuit seems legit.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , September 8, 2010 10:57 PM
    you mean *accepting*
  • 0 Hide
    photog10 , September 8, 2010 11:50 PM
    It's going to get ugly and i'm grabbing a seat and some popcorn..it's going to be a great feature fight, just in time for christmas..HAHA
  • 0 Hide
    ErrolDC , September 8, 2010 11:55 PM
    Oracle and HP aren't in bed together. That was a complete exaggeration on Oracle's part. As a matter of fact, since Oracle has been trying to suck every and anything it can gets it's hands on, it has elevated itself more and more to a competitor as opposed to a partner!
  • 2 Hide
    mikem_90 , September 9, 2010 12:05 AM
    rick4937The anti-Hurd posters clearly have little business knowledge. Hurd is widely credited, and properly so, for returning HP to relevance. He nearly tripled the stock price during his tenure and managed several key acquisitions that substantially improved HP's competitiveness in key sectors. Did Hurd abuse his expense account? Yes. Do most executives at most large companies? Yes. Did he abuse some women? Yes. Does that at all matter? No. Large corporations are in the business of making money, and Hurd was excellent at it. Firing him, while politically convenient, was a stupid business move. Oracle was wise to grab him.


    Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I would think it be a very good thing for a corporate business not to behave like a sociopath.

    Just because you improve a company into a major leader does not give you carte-Blanche right to act like a douche, steal money, etc. If anything, we should expect the people at the most visible points of a company to be held to a higher standard since their misteps reflect very poorly on the company they work for.

    That is, if I was on the board trustees/directors of a company.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 9, 2010 12:56 AM
    @ rick4937

    While doing so, he created a company that had terrible quality problems and treated its employees terribly. It's usually not a good sign when one of the qualifications for the next CEO is "cares about employees". Nor is 2/3 of the company saying if they could find a job that paid as well as HP they'd leave.
  • 1 Hide
    NeeKo , September 9, 2010 2:28 AM
    Even though it was obvious, as someone said already, Larry aint no idiot and he knew this was coming, he just did it anyway for a good reason.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , September 9, 2010 2:37 AM
    Well I hope this trouble is all worth it for Oracle.
  • 0 Hide
    dEAne , September 9, 2010 3:02 AM
    HP is acting too weird, why didn't they work it out with Mr. Hurd and stop yelling.
  • 1 Hide
    sailfish , September 9, 2010 3:06 AM
    Considering Hurd's admitted other transgressions, HP has to wonder what trade secrets he already passed on to Ellison before being fired.

    HP has had problems with the past few of CEOs, ala, Carly and Hurd and even Young, imo.

    They used to be a great company and with the innovative memistor promise, can be again. Here's wishing them better luck at picking an exemplar CEO this time.
  • 2 Hide
    intelliclint , September 9, 2010 4:17 AM
    rick4937The anti-Hurd posters clearly have little business knowledge. Hurd is widely credited, and properly so, for returning HP to relevance. He nearly tripled the stock price during his tenure and managed several key acquisitions that substantially improved HP's competitiveness in key sectors. Did Hurd abuse his expense account? Yes. Do most executives at most large companies? Yes. Did he abuse some women? Yes. Does that at all matter? No. Large corporations are in the business of making money, and Hurd was excellent at it. Firing him, while politically convenient, was a stupid business move. Oracle was wise to grab him.



    I hope you don't work for Hurd, those you do would say they did all this in spite of him. He isn't a very good innovator, he is strictly business manager. If you read through the employee reviews of HP you will learn how Hurd has created a toxic work environment, with hack and slash work force reductions, a bad employee review policies, no wage increases, and ethics training programs that he obviously never listened to himself.
  • 0 Hide
    stm1185 , September 9, 2010 5:14 AM
    Oracle: "Awh Snap!"
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