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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison  (Source: PeopleSoft Planet)

Mark Hurd, Former HP CEO  (Source: Getty Images)
Ellison calls HP board "idiots"

HP is the largest computer maker around with a business that spans the globe and reaches into the corporate and consumer markets. The company recently forced the resignation of its CEO Mark Hurd after allegations of sexual harassment and falsified expense statements.

The CEO of Oracle Lawrence Ellison is speaking out in support of Hurd and condemning HP's board for Hurd’s departure. Ellison and Hurd are reportedly close friends, though the companies do compete on some levels and work together on other projects.

Ellison sent an email to the New York Times stating, "The H.P. board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago. That decision nearly destroyed Apple and would have if Steve hadn’t come back and saved them."

Ellison continued in the email claiming that, "In losing Mark Hurd, the H.P. board failed to act in the best interest of H.P.’s employees, shareholders, customers and partners. The H.P. board admits that it fully investigated the sexual harassment claims against Mark and found them to be utterly false."

According to Ellison, a debate amongst the HP board was raging on whether or not to disclose the allegations of sexual harassment to the public. Hurd reportedly didn’t see the need to force disclosure of the allegations after an investigation by the HP board found that the claims were false.

Hurd and the woman involved in the case, Jodie Fisher, both maintain that there was no romantic relationship between them. However, Fisher reportedly settled the claims with Hurd for an undisclosed sum of money.

Why there would have been a settlement if nothing happened is unknown. HP maintains that the reason for Hurd to be forced to resign was due to falsifying expense reports in an effort to conceal the relationship.

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RE: Ignore the man behind the curtain.
By brokenaxiom on 8/10/2010 11:03:35 AM , Rating: 5
I'm not sure where you hear that HP has been failing for ten years, but under the reign of Hurd, the company has doubled its market cap. It also has become the largest manufacturer of PCs in the world. And they are well positioned for competing with the Ipad thanks to the Palm acquisition.

Sexual harassment allegations alone against any HP employee below the executive level would result in them being immediately walked out of the building. Like his buddy, Larry is also in favour of different standards for "more important" staff.

No they would result in an investigation. If wrongdoing was found, then termination or disciplinary action. And yes you have different standards for more important staff. If Steve Jobs fudged some expense reports, then Apple would be utterly insane to fire him. They would simply correct the mistake through reimbursement. Some people- although replaceable- are really nice to have around.

By Jedi2155 on 8/10/2010 12:43:02 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, its like the Emperor sending off his right hand Darth Vader to jail for sexually harassing some poor Twi'lek slave girl.

By Taft12 on 8/10/2010 1:02:06 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure doubling the market cap is as impressive as it sounds given the economic conditions during his tenure.

I read the thoughts of a former higher-up with HP whose opinion I respect shortly before I read this DT story which was obviously fresh in my mind (pretty scathing and pessimistic stuff!)

If double standards are OK as you say, how much corruption is too much? Mark Hurd offered to repay the amount of the falsified expense reports (~$20,000 which is practically pennies) but only because he got caught. Would this be OK if it was in the millions? It would still be minor compared to HP's balance sheet. This kind of thing is very harmful to morale in the company (which is pretty damn low already), and I come down on the side that claims the board did the right thing.

By rdhood on 8/10/2010 1:55:58 PM , Rating: 5
HP preachs ethics to the employees. Employees are required to take hours of ethics training every year.

It is hard to spend millions preaching breach-of-ethics to the tribe as a cause for termination, and then let the chief have a pass. It fosters an "us vs. them" mentality that rots a company from inside out.

By nitrous9200 on 8/10/2010 11:24:37 PM , Rating: 2
And as they've risen to #1 in shipments, their quality has tanked. In my small computer repair shop, I have not seen a brand with as many different product failures and even design flaws across so many different product lines as HP. But of course, that's what happens when companies start cutting costs to save $2 on each product they manufacture!

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