by Anton Shilov
09/07/2010 | 11:13 PM
Hewlett-Packard, the company which board of directors forced ex-chief executive officer Mark Hurd to step down because his behaviour violated the company's business conduct, has filed a civil complaint against Mark Hurd demanding his resignation from Oracle. HP believes that Mr. Hurd at his position at Oracle would inevitable share HP's trade secrets with its rival.
As chief executive officer, chairman and the president of HP since 2005, Mark Hurd has learnt a lot about the company and was responsible for strategic and tactical decisions over the years. Quite naturally, Mr. Hurd possesses trade and technological secrets of Hewlett-Packard. The latter believes that as the president of Oracle, Mark Hurd will violate his legal obligations to HP and will share secrets of the latter with the company that now directly competes against HP.
"Hurd has accepter employment at Oracle and will server functions at Oracle similar to his previous roles at HP and thus, cannot avoid disclosing and utilizing HP's trade secrets and confidential information. [...] HP is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Hurd has the intent to disclose HP's trade secrets and confidential information to others, including his new employer," the lawsuit by HP reads.
HP wants Mark Hurd to resign from Oracle and to appoint a "special master" to review on a regular basis that Mr. Hurd and his affiliates do not disclose HP's trade secrets to rivals.
It is not clear how the board of directors decided to fire a person who knows all secrets of HP. It is rather obvious that among other things the board should have understood that Mark Hurd would eventually end up at one of HP's rivals.
According to the head of Oracle, by filing the lawsuit, HP effectively terminated any cooperation between itself and Oracle.
“Oracle has long viewed HP as an important partner. 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," said Larry Ellison, chief executive officer of Oracle.