Hurd sued by HP over Oracle job

MARK HURD, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard (HP), is being sued by the computer company over his move to join rival Oracle.

Hurd was appointed as co-president and director of Oracle, the world’s third-largest software maker, yesterday and just one month after he resigned from HP.

HP has alleged that Hurd’s move to Oracle puts its own trade secrets “in peril” as his move will “give Oracle a strategic advantage as to where to allocate or not allocate resources and exploit the knowledge of HP’s strengths and weaknesses”.

A statement filed with the Supreme Court in Santa Clara said: “In his new position, 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.”

But Hurd’s separation agreement with HP did not have a non-compete clause contained within it. It did, however, have a two-year confidentiality pact. Non-compete clauses are generally unenforceable in California.

Hurd resigned from HP on 6 August after the company said he filed inaccurate expense reports related to a marketing contractor, Jodie Fisher, who worked for his office. Fisher accused Hurd of sexual harassment, but HP has found no evidence to back her allegations.

HP and Oracle are direct rivals.