Hewlett-Packard is suing its former chief executive Mark Hurd, following his appointment to rival firm Oracle.
Oracle yesterday named Hurd as its new president, after he left HP last month amid allegations he had a relationship with an employee and filed improper expense claims.
Hurd’s new employer has described the lawsuit as ‘vindictive’, and suggested it may prevent the two firms co-operating in future.
HP’s civil complaint, which was filed against Hurd with the California Superior Court, reads: “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… Hurd has put HP’s most valuable trade secrets and confidential information in peril.
“In his new positions, 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.”
Oracle this morning responded to the news of the lawsuit.
“Oracle has long viewed HP as an important partner,” said CEO Larry Ellison. “By filing this vindictive lawsuit against Oracle and Mark Hurd, the HP board is acting with utter disregard for that partnership, our joint customers, and their own shareholders and employees. The HP Board is making it virtually impossible for Oracle and HP to continue to cooperate and work together in the IT marketplace."