Oracle picks up Mark Hurd and a lawsuit from HP
Mark V. Hurd, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard, resigned amid controversy over sexual harassment allegations concerning a former consultant, Jodie Fisher. Not long after, he was approached by Oracle to take an executive position with that company, a competitor of HP. Hurd accepted a job as co-president of Oracle, but the jump from one giant technology company to another was not that simple. HP has just filed a lawsuit against Oracle, as Hurd signed confidentiality agreements during his employment, and as part of his severance package from HP. Hurd is a known rainmaker in the tech world.
HP and Hurd cannot just be friends
On Monday, Mark Hurd was announced as the newest addition to Oracle Corp., according to Reuters. He was hired on as co-president and member of the board of directors, replacing the outgoing Charles Phillips. Oracle is one of the largest computer technology corporations in the world, behind only Microsoft and IBM in sales of software. After the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Hurd will be in direct competition with his former employer, Hewlett Packard, which recently had a high profile bidding war with Dell for 3COM. Hurd resigned in August from HP after allegations of sexual harassment, brought by a former consultant, Jodie Fisher.
Lawsuit brought by HP against Oracle
Oracle became a direct competitor of HP after the acquisition of Sun Microsystems. HP filed a suit, according to the New York Times, because Hurd has inside knowledge of HP and could not be legally hired, as it would violate confidentiality agreements he signed as part of his employment. Hurd was known as a serious player in the tech field during his tenure at HP. Hurd was directly responsible for aggressive efficiency improvements for his former employer. Oracle CEO, Lawrence Ellison, compared allowing Hurd to leave to when Apple fired Steve Jobs.
Hurd, as a former CEO of HP, does have insider info that can damage HP. That is the reason why executives often have to sign confidentiality and non-competing contracts. It is unknown how far this lawsuit will go, but it could be worth it as Hurd has a track record of making a lot of money.