Hurd putting HP secrets in peril, lawsuit claims

HP: Hurd's new role as president of Oracle "has put HP’s most valuable trade secrets and confidential information in peril"

HP has sued its former CEO Mark Hurd, claiming his new position as president of Oracle "has put HP's most valuable trade secrets and confidential information in peril."

"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," HP alleges in a complaint filed this afternoon in Superior Court for Santa Clara, California.

In Hurd's new position as president and a member of the board at a major competitor of HP's, the company claims "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."

Hurd left HP in early August after the conclusion of a probe into claims that he sexually harassed an HP contractor who was a former softcore porn star. The internal investigation found that Hurd had not violated HP's sexual harassment policy, but he did violate HP's standards of business conduct.

This week Oracle brought Hurd aboard to replace Charles Phillips whose departure has been rumored since he made some public miscues of his own. Oracle has denied that Phillips is leaving.

Part of Hurd's new job at Oracle will be to raise awareness of its Exadata systems which, ironically, were launched on HP hardware but moved to Sun Microsystems boxes after that company was acquired by Oracle. In a press release announcing Hurd's appointment, he mentions Oracle beating IBM, but makes no mention of HP. "As Hurd well knows, IBM and HP are competitors in the enterprise storage business," the complaint observes.

"Hurd's clear effort to avoid mentioning HP is telling in light of Oracle's own SEC filing identifying HP as a competitor," it continued. "What Hurd and everyone else knows is that the Exadata server mentioned in his quote is a direct competitive product to HP's Proliant Server."

The action against Hurd is for breach of contract and the threatened misappropriation of trade secrets. It is asking the court, among other things, to temporarily block Hurd from taking his new position with Oracle and award HP damages, attorneys' fees and court costs.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags HPbusiness issuespersonnellegal issuesCivil lawsuitslegalOracleTech industry

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John P. Mello Jr.

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?