Oracle says HP committed fraud with Hurd settlement

In a new court filing, Oracle says Hewlett-Packard committed fraud by not disclosing plans to hire two former Oracle executives while the two companies were at work on a settlement.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

In a new court filing, Oracle accused Hewlett-Packard of committing fraud by hiding its plans to hire Leo Apotheker as CEO and Ray Lane as chairman at the time the two companies were working on a settlement agreement to bring former HP CEO Mark Hurd to Oracle.

The complaint, which was filed today in San Jose, Calif., asks a Santa Clara County judge to revoke the settlement the two companies made in September of last year, saying Oracle would have never agreed to it if it had known that HP was "actively concealing material information."

That information was the planned hire of Apotheker, the former CEO of German software giant SAP, as well as Lane as non-executive chairman.

The filing was reported Bloomberg earlier today.

Following an expense account scandal and an investigation into a sexual harassment claim, Hurd walked away from HP last year with a package reportedly worth up to $40 million. He joined Oracle as co-president in early September of last year and was sued by HP the following day for breach of contract and "threatened misappropriation of trade secrets." In other words, HP contended that by the nature of Hurd's work at Oracle, he would invariably leak the company's trade secrets, which he had promised to protect in a confidentiality agreement with his former employer. Hurd went ahead and took the job anyway.

Today's cross-complaint goes against a suit HP filed against Oracle in June that said Oracle's decision to cease development on Intel Itanium server processors was an attempt to "thwart competition from HP and harm its customers."

Former CNET reporter Erica Ogg contributed to this report.