HP Says Hurd Will Use Trade Secrets in Position at Oracle

Lora Bentley
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No one should be surprised Oracle CEO Larry Ellison gave former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd a job. Remember that quick defense Ellison offered after the HP board pushed Hurd out? And if Don Tennant said the defense made no sense, I can't imagine what he thinks of Ellison's decision to give Hurd control of customer relations. Is this the same man who has been characterized as unapproachable and aloof?


But we'll save that for a later post.


What matters now is that days after Hurd landed the position of co-president and chief of customer relations at Oracle, HP came at him with a lawsuit alleging he is violating contractual agreements to maintain HP's trade secrets and confidential information. As ZDNet 's Larry Dignan points out, non-compete agreements like the one Hurd signed in exchange for his millions in severance don't usually hold water in California, let alone stand up in court. But HP is arguing that Hurd won't be able to do his job at Oracle without putting HP's confidential information at risk and hurting HP's business.


HP is asking the court for an injunction, damages and attorneys' fees.


In a statement, Ellison responded to the suit this way:

By filing this vindictive lawsuit against Oracle and Mark Hurd, the HP board is acting with utter disregard for [its Oracle] partnership, our joint customers, and their own shareholders and employees.

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