HP Sues Ex-CEO Mark Hurd Over Oracle Job

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

HP has filed suit in California Superior Court against its former CEO Mark Hurd alleging that he cannot fulfill his duties as Oracle's new president without violating his confidentiality agreements with HP. Oracle responded, threatening to cut all business ties to HP.

HP has filed suit against former CEO Mark Hurd over his intention to join Oracle, which could be considered a rival in many aspects of the business.

HP announced the lawsuit at its corporate blog.

The tech giant filed the civil complaint in the California Superior Court of Santa Clara County, stating the following:

"Mark Hurd agreed to and signed agreements designed to protect HP's trade secrets and confidential information.  HP intends to enforce those agreements."

HP posted the following excerpt of its complaint against Hurd:

"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."

The full text of the complaint, including the sections on confidential information and proprietary statements, signed by Hurd, can be found here. 

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com