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HP sues former CEO Hurd to keep trade secrets safe

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-09-08

US computer manufacturing giant Hewlett Packard has filed a complaint against former CEO Mark Hurd who on Monday joined the board of directors at software company Oracle. HP believes the hiring by its competitor puts HP's trade secrets "in peril".

AFP - US computer titan Hewlett-Packard filed suit against former chief executive Mark Hurd on Tuesday after he was named a co-president at US business software giant Oracle.
  
In a civil complaint filed in California Superior Court, HP said that Hurd would be putting the company's "most valuable trade secrets and confidential information in peril" by working at Oracle.
  
HP's suit said Hurd had been paid "millions of dollars in cash, stock and stock options" in exchange for agreeing to "protect HP's trade secrets and confidential information during his employment and following his departure."
  
"HP intends to enforce those agreements," the company said in a statement.
  
HP's suit charged that "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."
  
HP asked the court to prevent Hurd from holding a position at a competing company.
  
Hurd, 53, resigned as HP's CEO last month after a sexual harassment probe uncovered subterfuge with company expenses.
  
The investigation found he had not broken harassment rules, but was in breach of HP's "standards of business conduct."
  
Hurd was named co-president of Oracle on Monday and also given a seat on the board of directors of the company.
  
"Mark did a brilliant job at HP and I expect he'll do even better at Oracle," Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison said in a statement. "There is no executive in the IT world with more relevant experience than Mark."
  
Oracle said the company's other co-president, Charles Phillips, was leaving the company and stepping down from the board.
  
Hurd said he was "excited to be a part of the most innovative technology team in the IT industry."
  
"I believe Oracle's strategy of combining software with hardware will enable Oracle to beat IBM in both enterprise servers and storage," he said.
  
HP shares fell 1.04 percent on Tuesday to close at 39.92 dollars while Oracle shares gained 5.87 percent to 24.26 dollars.

Date created : 2010-09-08

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