Oct 26 (Reuters) – Oracle Corp (NASDAQ:ORCL) Chief Executive Larry Ellison said he has proof that Hewlett-Packard Co’s (NYSE:HPQ) incoming CEO oversaw a scheme to steal Oracle’s software by rival SAP AG (DE:SAPG).
SAP has admitted in court documents that it stole Oracle’s software. A jury trial is scheduled to begin on Monday to determine how much SAP should pay Oracle to settle the case , with Oracle seeking some $2 billion in damages and SAP saying that tens of millions of dollars would be reasonable.
The matter is complicated by the fact that HP has hired SAP’s former CEO, Leo Apotheker, as its new CEO. He is scheduled to start work on Monday.
"A few weeks ago I accused HP’s new CEO, Leo Apotheker, of overseeing an industrial espionage scheme centering on the repeated theft of massive amounts Oracle’s software. A major portion of this theft occurred while Mr. Apotheker was CEO of SAP," Ellison said in a statement.
"HP’s Chairman, Ray Lane, immediately came to Mr. Apotheker’s defense by writing a letter stating, ‘Oracle has been litigating this case for years and has never offered any evidence that Mr. Apotheker was involved.’ Well, that’s what we are planning to do during the trial that starts next Monday."
A spokeswoman for Hewlett-Packard said she could not immediately comment on Ellison’s statement. (Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Bernard Orr)