HP Sues Ex-CEO Mark Hurd Over Oracle Job

By Jessica Davis

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. 

Oracle responded with fire and fury in a tersely worded statement, threatening to cut off all business dealings with HP.

"Oracle has long viewed HP as an important partner," said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, in the statement. "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."

This article was originally published on 2010-09-07