HP, Oracle Relationship Strained, HP CEO Says

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HP interim CEO Cathie Lesjak told analysts that HP's relationship with Oracle has become strained in the aftermath of Oracle's hiring of ousted HP CEO Mark Hurd.

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co's (NYSE:HPQ) interim chief executive said its relationship with Oracle has been "strained" by the fallout from Mark Hurd's hiring by the software company, but she expects the companies to be "good partners" in the future.

HP asked a court on Tuesday to block Hurd, HP's former CEO, from joining Oracle, saying his hiring by the rival technology firm puts HP's trade secrets "in peril."

Oracle Corp (NASDAQ:ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison fired back, calling the lawsuit "vindictive" and saying HP's board is making it "virtually impossible" for the two companies to partner together.

Cathie Lesjak, who became HP's interim CEO after Hurd was forced out on Aug. 6 over expense account irregularities, said on Wednesday at the Citigroup Global Technology Conference that Ellison's comments "strained" the relationship a bit.

But she added: "At the end of the day, business will prevail and, ultimately, we will go back to being good partners, and competitors where we've been competitors.

"I believe that HP is important to Oracle and Oracle is an important partner of ours."

HP shares fell 3.6 percent to $38.48 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, while Oracle shares fell 1 percent to $24.01 on the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Gabriel Madway; editing by Andre Grenon)