been a wild ride for former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd.
Under Mr. Hurd's savvy leadership HP leapt from second place in the
personal computer industry to beat Dell and become the world's
largest computer manufacturer. Then Mr. Hurd was slapped with
sexual harassment suit from a former
contractor. Forced to resign, Mr. Hurd has now been granted
a Co-President position at Oracle Corporation.But
the ride is far from over. HP has filed
suit [Scribd] against Mark Hurd, seeking to block him from
assuming his role at Oracle.The suit claims that by working
at Oracle Mr. Hurd is violating confidentiality agreements that were
part of a severance package he received when agreeing to resign.
On its corporate blog, the company's legal team writes,
"Mark Hurd agreed to and signed agreements designed to protect
HP's trade secrets and confidential information. HP intends to
enforce those agreements."Unfortunately for HP, Mr. Hurd
did not sign a non-compete agreement when resigning. Thus the
company may lack the legal firepower to stop him from working at
Oracle. And even a non-compete isn't always sufficient to bring
a swift outcome as highlighted by IBM's recent suit
against Apple-hire Mark Papermaster, a drawn out case that was
out of court.To top it off, HP gave Mark Hurd $40M USD in
severance money. Thus the company now finds itself in the
awkward position of trying to combat Mr. Hurd's legal team, which it
essentially funded.Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, a close friend
of Mark Hurd's since the days when Mr. Hurd was President and Chief
Operating Officer of NCR, is by no means keeping quiet about the
case. He unleashed a sharply worded tirade against HP, saying
that he may cut ties with it if the suit continues.He
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.
hard stance could wind up hurting Oracle's bottom line as HP is a key
business partner. However, it will likely hurt HP even more,
given the fact that it's struggling under the loss
of several key executives, including Mr. Hurd.Oracle is
the world's third largest software maker, behind only Microsoft and
IBM. In 2009 it acquired
Sun Microsystems, the crown jewel of a $30B USD campaign of
quote: HP's stock being down indicates that the shareholders placed more value in Hurd's money making ability as a CEO than his alleged ethics violations.
quote: Keep in mind Hurd made HP a lot of money in five years.
quote: Sorry but CEO's often turn a company around. Why do you think they get paid so much and companies compete so fiercely for big name CEO's?Or are we to believe that, coincidentally, the thousands of employees decided to work better or harder right when a new CEO is hired?