Acrimonious war of words continues

HP chairman accuses Mark Hurd of ‘repeatedly lying’

New HP chairman Ray Lane has defended the firm’s hiring of CEO Leo Apotheker in a strongly worded letter to the New York Times.

The tech giant has faced criticism from analysts and commentators over its choice of Apotheker, the former chief executive of SAP, a firm Oracle has previously sued over intellectual property theft.

HP and Oracle were involved in a legal tussle following Oracle’s decision to hire sacked HP CEO Mark Hurd. Oracle then called into question HP’s decision to hire Apotheker, who was at SAP at a time when the admitted IP theft had occured.

"Oracle has been litigating this case for years and has never offered any evidence that Mr. Apotheker was involved," fired back HP chairman Ray Lane in a letter to the New York Times.

However, the strongest words were reserved for ejected former CEO Mark Hurd. "Mr. Hurd violated the trust of the board by repeatedly lying to them in the course of an investigation into his conduct," wrote Lane.

"He violated numerous elements of HP’s Standards of Business Conduct and he demonstrated a serious lack of integrity and judgment. The board was unanimous in its decision that he must go, including the seven directors Mr. Hurd recruited to the board."

At the heart of the dispute is the idea that HP hired Apotheker to spite rival Oracle. HP denies this is the case but some analysts have suggested this can be the only explanation.

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