Less than 24 hours after Oracle named ousted HP CEO Mark Hurd as co-president, HP has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against him. To be honest, if Monday had not been Labor Day, and if the announcement hadn't been made so late in the day, they probably would have filed a lawsuit that same day.
While Hurd didn't sign a non-compete agreement, the lawsuit focuses on confidentiality agreements in his exit package. That package was worth over $40 million, so Hurd will have plenty of money to fight the lawsuit with (although we honestly assume Oracle lawyers might be handling things).
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, a close friend of Hurd's, criticized HP's decision to oust Hurd. His resignation came after an HP investigation turned up some irregularities in expense reports concerning a marketing contractor. HP's decision over Hurd came despite the fact that under his watch, the company's reputation, market share, and financials soared.
HP's own statement in the matter says:
“Mark Hurd agreed to and signed agreements designed to protect HP's trade secrets and confidential information. HP intends to enforce those agreements.”
Oracle's stock was up to $24.26, up $1.34 or close to 6 percent on the day. Meanwhile, HP's stock dropped slightly, $39.93, down $0.41 or just over 1 percent on the day.
Later in the day, Oracle responded with the following statement:
“Oracle has long viewed HP as an important partner,” said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. “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."