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Oracle to pay Hurd $950,000 per year

Former HP CEO Mark Hurd stands to score big as co-president at Oracle. Beyond the salary, there's a potential $5 million bonus in 2011, and oodles of stock options.

Tapped by Larry Ellison to become a co-president of Oracle, Mark Hurd is poised to earn a base salary of $950,000 per year.

Mark Hurd
Mark Hurd HP

Hurd is also eligible for an executive bonus of $5 million next year if he meets whatever targets Oracle has set up for him, according to the offer letter (PDF) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Beyond that, he's in line for an overall bonus as high as $10 million.

Stock ownership is a big part of the package as well. Hurd has been rewarded with stock options that will let him buy up to 10 million shares of Oracle common stock initially and then an additional 5 million every year for the next five years as long as he's still with the company.

On Monday, Oracle announced that it is hiring Hurd, until recently the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, to serve alongside fellow co-president Safra Catz, reporting directly to Ellison, Oracle's CEO. Hurd is also up for election to the board of directors at the company's annual shareholder meeting on October 6.

Of course, there is one small problem--HP is suing Hurd. Charging its former CEO with breach of contract and potential misappropriation of trade secrets, HP believes that Oracle's hiring of Hurd violates confidentiality agreements and poses a threat to HP.

Specifically, HP is concerned that in his new role at Oracle, Hurd will be put in a position of having to use certain trade secrets and confidential information that he gained during his tenure at HP. The lawsuit won't likely prevent Hurd from joining Oracle--HP chose not to file a restraining order. But it could make the transition a bit rough and is likely to damage the business relationship between HP and Oracle, which have worked together in the past.

Hurd was forced to resign from HP in the wake of a scandal involving charges of inappropriate behavior. But he is credited with transforming HP into the largest computer company in the world during his five years at the helm. In a statement issued on Monday, Ellison had nothing but praise for his new hire.

"Mark did a brilliant job at HP and I expect he'll do even better at Oracle," Ellison said. "There is no executive in the IT world with more relevant experience than Mark."