HP sues Hurd for Oracle job

September 8, 2010 // 10:08 a.m.

Tags: #ellison #hewlett-packard #hp #hurd #larry-ellison #lawsuit #mark-hurd #no-compete #oracle #trade-secrets

Despite HP having received former chief executive Mark Hurd's resignation over claims of financial impropriety and possible sexual harassment, it seems that the company isn't done with him yet: HP is now suing Mark Hurd for having found another job.

According to Business Insider, Hurd has declined to quietly retire and has instead found another job at long-time HP rival Oracle as co-president and member of the board of directors. HP isn't exactly happy - and is proceeding a civil complaint which alleges that the ex-CEO has violated the severance agreement that saw HP give Hurd a golden parachute in the millions of dollars.

The suit claims that "by working at Oracle, [Hurd] cannot help but utilise and disclose HP's trade secrets and confidential information." In a further announcement, HP claims that "Mark Hurd agreed to and signed agreements designed to protect HP's trade secrets and confidential information. HP intends to enforce those agreements."

The company has posted a full copy of the filing on document sharing site Scribd, and it's interesting to see the angle being taken: rather than the risky approach of arguing a "no-compete" clause, which would represent an undertaking not to work for a direct competitor for a number of years after leaving the company and is rarely enforceable in law, HP is claiming potential violation of trade secrets.

Although Oracle's stock rose by 5 per cent on the news of Hurd's hiring, the alleged philanderer and plunderer could prove to be something of a poison pill should the lawsuit decide in HP's favour.

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