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HP vs Hurd: Hewlett Packard Sues Its Former CEO

HP alleges that Hurd "has put HP’s most valuable trade secrets and confidential information in peril"

News agencies around the world are reporting that HP is taking its former CEO Mark Hurd to court, just 24 hours after Oracle announced Monday that he'd been appointed Co-President of Oracle.

According to early reports coming out of Silicon Valley, it is alleged by HP that it is a breach of his severance agreement for him to have accepted the Co-President position at Oracle so soon after his departure from HP.

On the Official HP Blog is the following explanation:

“Mark Hurd agreed to and signed agreements designed to protect HP's trade secrets and confidential information. HP intends to enforce those agreements.”

The full complaint can be found here on Scribd; part of the introduction is excerpted below:

“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 during his employment and following his departure from his positions at HP as Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, and President, HP is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Hurd has put HP’s most valuable trade secrets and confidential information in peril. Hurd accepted positions with Oracle Corporation (“Oracle”), a competitor of HP, yesterday as its President and as a member of its Board of Directors. 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.”

Parts of the Agreement Regarding Confidential Information and Proprietary Developments (the “Trade Secret Protection Agreements”), signed by Hurd on February 6, 2008, February 26, 2009, and February 12, 2010, can be found in the complaint (sections 28-32)."

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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