Hewlett Packard launches lawsuit against ex-CEO

9 September 2010

Hewlett Packard (HP) is to sue former chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Hurd after he was announced as the new chief of financial technology firm Oracle.

Following his appointment Mr Hurd’s previous employer filed a civil complaint which claimed he would be breaking a confidentiality agreement he made with HP by taking on the new role.

According to HP, by accepting the post of president and joining Oracle’s board, Mr Hurd will be in danger of exposing “trade secrets”.

In a statement, HP said: “Mark Hurd agreed to and signed agreements designed to protect HP's trade secrets and confidential information. HP intends to enforce those agreements."

Oracle confirmed that Mr Hurd will be joining the firm yesterday following media speculation.

Larry Ellison, CEO at Oracle, said that, until now, the company 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,” he added.

Mr Hurd left HP following allegations of sexual harassment against a contractor and expense irregularities.

An internal investigation found that he did not harass the outsourced employee but had breached business standards when filing expense claims.

Mr Hurd subsequently left the firm in August of this year.

By Jim Ottewill

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