HP's Livermore was 'furious and appalled' at Oracle dropping Itanium

The former HP enterprise chief read on the Web that Oracle would stop developing for Itanium

Hewlett-Packard enterprise chief Ann Livermore was "furious and appalled" when she saw Oracle's announcement that it would end development for HP's Itanium server chips, she said in a San Jose, California, court on Tuesday.

Oracle announced the decision in a press release issued March 22, 2011. HP later sued the company, saying the move had violated an agreement that HP and Oracle reached in the wake of Oracle's hiring of former HP CEO Mark Hurd in September 2010.

Livermore was in Virginia, preparing for HP's annual shareholder meeting, when she saw the press release on the Web, she said.

"It came out in the middle of the night. I saw it the next morning," Livermore said. She immediately called Oracle co-President Safra Catz, with whom she had worked on the so-called Hurd Agreement and on other issues over the years of HP and Oracle's partnership.

"I told her that I was furious. I asked her, 'Do you know what you've done?'" Livermore said.

She said that in contrast to most of their conversations, Catz was unusually quiet and gave the impression of being uninformed.

Catz said, "I need to go talk to Larry about this," according to Livermore, referring to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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