Mark Hurd recently resigned after five years as CEO of Hewlett Packard. He left HP amid allegations brought by Jodie Fisher, a former consultant, of sexual harassment. Oracle took a chance on Hurd, not long after he left HP. It won’t be as easy as just showing up as the new co-president for Hurd. Hurd had to sign confidentiality agreements as part of his employment with HP. As a result, HP is suing Oracle for illegally hiring him. Hurd is a giant among men in the tech industry.
Hurd and HP didn’t part on the best terms
Mark Hurd was announced this week, according to Reuters, as the newest addition to the executive team of Oracle Corp. Charlie Phillips resigned as co-president, and Hurd will be taking that spot along with a position on the board of directors. Oracle is one of the largest computer technology corporations in the world, behind only Microsoft and IBM in sales of software. Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems earlier this year, placing the company in direct competition with HP. HP had a high profile bidding war with Dell for 3COM. Jodie Fisher used to be a consultant for HP, and her allegations of sexual harassment against Hurd led to his resigning from HP.
Lawsuit brought by HP against Oracle
Oracle became a direct competitor of HP after the acquisition of Sun Microsystems. The lawsuit alleges that Oracle could not legally hire Hurd, according to the New York Times. As CEO of HP, he has inside information that could breach contracts with HP. During Hurd’s time at HP, the company did a 180 and became far more profitable. HP also became more efficient under Hurd’s stewardship and became a success story in the past five years. Oracle CEO, Lawrence Ellison, compared allowing Hurd to leave to when Apple fired Steve Jobs.
There may be a conflict of interest
HP inside information is certainly known to Hurd, as he was an executive. There are usually confidentiality clauses in executive contracts. There is no guarantee the lawsuit will go very far. That said, it might be worth it in the end, as Hurd has a reputation for making an awful lot of money.
NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/technology/08hewlett.html?src=busln
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