Hewlett-Packard shareholders have reportedly sued the board members on grounds of not properly handling former CEO Mark Hurd’s resignation and severance agreement. After having been accused of sexual harassment, Mark Hurd left Hewlett Packard and joined Oracle as a co-President, bringing on an entirely new series of legal issues all its own.
The lawsuit brings to light a series of events that’s plagued HP and its competitors for several months now, rehashing much of the disdain HP experienced upon first forcing Hurd out of the company. There aren’t many details revealed, as the suit is sealed. Forbes blog reports:
“The sealed lawsuits seek information about the board’s review of the sexual harassment allegations against Hurd. At least on case, brought by investor Lawrence Zucker, seeks a monetary ruling. Hurd left the company, and was soon hired as co-president at Oracle.”
HP not only hired former SAP CEO Leo Apotheker for the freed position, but also sued Mark Hurd for breaching his contract with the company. The New York Times alleged that filing suit against Mark Hurd was a protective measure to ensure the company’s secrets are not shared to Oracle, a solid competitor of Hewlett Packard.
After a bit of legal sparring, the two companies came together: “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,” said Cathie Lesjak, chief financial officer and interim chief executive officer, HP. “We look forward to collaborating with Oracle in the future.” At the same time CEO Larry Ellison said that Oracle and HP will continue to build and expand a partnership that has already lasted for over 25 years.
Although things are seeming to wind down, Hewlett Packard is finding difficulties with the newly appointed CEO Leo Apotheker. Ever since Leo Apotheker was given this position, he has not made any official appearances. This gives Oracle a handle against Apotheker, purporting that this hide-and-seek game is explained by Apotheker having been fully aware of the SAP’s theft.