Mark Hurd Sued by HP, Less than 24 Hours After Landing President Gig at Oracle

Just as Mark Hurd prepares to settle in as Oracle’s new president (announced just this morning), former employer Hewlett-Packard sues its resigned chief of staff. Filing suit in the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara, HP claims Hurd has breached his contract with the company.

What HP is looking to do here is protect its company trade secrets. The New York Times reports, “The lawsuit said that Mr. Hurd could use his intimate knowledge of H.P. and its trade secrets to aid Oracle and harm H.P. The two companies compete in the market for computer servers, storage systems and business software.”

Hurd’s relationship with HP was already on the rocks, as Hurd resigned after a sexual harassment case surfaced. While HP found no evidence against Hurd, his departure from the company was somewhat of a fall from grace. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, Hurd’s friend and new boss, had spoken out against HP when the scandal went public.

This probably won’t help HP much for its public image. The massive manufacturer has a lot to gain in the coming year, between consumer electronics and cloud-based solutions towards its expansion. It’s no wonder about HP’s concern.

Update:  HP Lawsuit post is here.

BREAKING: HP Files Civil Complaint Against Hurd; Includes Statement and Link to Full Complaint
by Hani Durzy (Hani_Durzy) 3 hours ago – last edited 2 hours ago

In response to the news of Mark Hurd’s intention to join Oracle, HP today filed a civil complaint in the California Superior Court (County of Santa Clara) against Hurd. HP’s statement on the matter:

“Mark Hurd agreed to and signed agreements designed to protect HP’s trade secrets and confidential information. HP intends to enforce those agreements.”

The full complaint can be found here on Scribd; part of the introduction is excerpted below:

“Despite being paid millions of dollars in cash, stock and stock options in exchange for Hurd’s agreements to protect HP’s trade secrets and confidential information during his employment and following his departure from his positions at HP as Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, and President, HP is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Hurd has put HP’s most valuable trade secrets and confidential information in peril. Hurd accepted positions with Oracle Corporation (“Oracle”), a competitor of HP, yesterday as its President and as a member of its Board of Directors. In his new positions, Hurd will be in a situation in which he cannot perform his duties for Oracle without necessarily using and disclosing HP’s trade secrets and confidential information to others.”

Parts of the Agreement Regarding Confidential Information and Proprietary Developments (the “Trade Secret Protection Agreements”), signed by Hurd on February 6, 2008, February 26, 2009, and February 12, 2010, can be found in the complaint (sections 28-32).

UPDATE: You can download a PDF of the complaint by clicking here.

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