HP, Oracle Settle Lawsuit Over Ex-CEO Hurd

Computing giant settles its feud with Oracle over outgoing CEO Mark Hurd, agreeing to drop its lawsuit and restore corporate ties.


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Posted September 21, 2010

Kenneth Corbin

Computing giant HP has settled its corporate tiff with Oracle, agreeing to a settlement to resolve its lawsuit over the hiring of outgoing CEO Mark Hurd.

HP (NYSE: HPQ) had sued over the appointment of Hurd as president of the database giant, claiming that he would carry with him trade secrets and other confidential information.

HP is billing the settlement as a restoration of relations between the two companies, longstanding Silicon Valley heavyweights with deep business ties.

"HP and Oracle have been important partners for more than 20 years and are committed to working together to provide exceptional products and service to our customers," HP CFO and interim CEO Cathie Lesjak said in a statement. "We look forward to collaborating with Oracle in the future."

Under the settlement, Hurd agreed to relinquish 330,177 performance-based shares of HP stock, as well as 15,853 restricted shares, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

HP had claimed that Hurd was bound by a standing confidentiality agreement to protect the firm's trade secrets, which he had most recently signed in February.

The settlement brings to a close what might be best described as a distraction for Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL), which wasted no time in putting Hurd out on the frontlines for a major product announcement this week at the firm's annual Open World confab.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had blasted HP's dismissal of Hurd amid a murky controversy involving a falsified expense report used to cover up a relationship with a contractor, and touted the expertise he would bring to the company's plans to develop an integrated software and hardware stack following the acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

In a statement following the settlement, Ellison said the companies "will continue to build and expand a partnership that has already lasted for over 25 years."

Kenneth Corbin is an associate editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

Tags: Oracle, data storage management, lawsuits, HP, Hurd

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