HP Quiet on CEO Testimony in SAP, Oracle Trial
SAN FRANCISCO/BOSTON, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co (NYSE:HPQ) has declined to say whether its incoming chief executive, Leo Apotheker, will testify in a high-profile trade secrets case involving Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) and SAP (DE:SAPG).
HP, the world's largest technology company by revenue, would not say whether Apotheker, a former CEO of SAP, will start his new job at the company's Palo Alto, California, headquarters.
Those offices are close enough to the Oakland courthouse, where the trial is being held, to make it easy for Oracle to formally serve him a with subpoena to testify.
The trial begins Monday, which is also Apotheker's first day at HP, and is expected to last for five weeks.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has accused Apotheker of supervising the theft of his company's software. He said on Tuesday that he suspected HP's board planned to keep Apotheker away from the company's headquarters until the trial is over.
SAP spokesman Saswato Das defended HP, saying that Ellison's facts about his old boss, Apotheker, are wrong.
"In his personal campaign against HP and desire to create a sideshow, Larry Ellison doesn't even bother to get the facts straight," Das said. "Our focus in the case is on determining fair and reasonable compensation, and we won't let personal vendettas interfere with the court's judgment."
An HP spokeswoman on Wednesday would not say where Apotheker will be when he starts work. The company said it does not release schedules for its executives, and declined to comment further.Apotheker said earlier this month he planned to spend the "following weeks and even months" traveling the world to talk to HP employees. HP named him CEO at the end of September.
SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott told Reuters that he would testify if called by Oracle and that he will be in the courtroom next Tuesday when his company's attorneys present their opening argument.
"I want to show that the co-CEO of SAP has a personal and professional interest in our company, in our brand and the way this matter is handled," he said in an interview. (Reporting by Gabriel Madway and Jim Finkle; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)