Hewlett-Packard (HP) is suing its former CEO Mark Hurd, alleging breach of contract and threatened misappropriation of trade secrets, a day after he was named co-president of rival Oracle. Below, a look at some of the most salient points in the suit.
In a civil lawsuit filed with the Superior Court of California for the County of Santa Clara, HP contended that Hurd had received millions of dollars of compensation with the promise of keeping the Silicon Valley printer and software maker’s trade secrets intact. At Oracle, which competes in enterprise software and servers, HP claims Hurd can’t do his new job without spilling the beans on HP’s most important trade secrets.
Oracle, the world’s second-biggest software company, announced the hiring yesterday and said Hurd would serve as a board member, reporting to CEO Larry Ellison. He would bring expertise in using acquisitions to spur growth. At HP, Hurd more than tripled profit by cutting costs and expanding beyond the company’s core business of computers and printers.
“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,” HP said in the complaint.
On Monday, Oracle announced that it has hired Hurd, who will report to Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison. Hurd is also joining Oracle’s board of directors.
Hurd was forced to resign in early August following an internal investigation of sexual harassment claims brought by a former HP contractor and revelations of expense accounting irregularities. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, a friend of Hurd’s, called HP’s decision to fire Hurd “the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago.”
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