The dramatic battle between Mark Hurd, HP, and Oracle continues. Yesterday Oracle announced that it was hiring recently-ousted HP CEO Mark Hurd as Co-President and a member of its Board. HP responded this morning by suing Hurd, alleging that he would potentially leak trade secrets to Oracle. Oracle has just responded to the suit, and it isn’t pulling any punches:
“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.”
Hurd was forced to leave HP after allegations that he harassed former HP contractor Jodie Fisher (he was cleared of those charges, but was found to have fudged some expense reports). At the time Ellison, who is a friend of Hurd’s, called the firing “the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago.” Also worth noting: Hurd’s severance package is worth more than $35 million, though HP is alleging he’s breaching some of his contractual agreements (which could impact the severance).