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HP Sues Former CEO

by Winston Sih | September 7, 2010September 7, 2010 3:59 pm PDT

Court documents filed on Tuesday morning indicate that Hewlett-Packard is suing Mark Hurd, the former CEO, accusing the former CEO of breaching their contract and misappropriation of trade secrets.

Currently, Hurd is the co-president of Oracle, one of HP’s major competitors.

HP said in a statement on Tuesday morning saying that “Mark Hurd agreed to and signed agreements designed to protect HP’s trade secrets and confidential information. HP intends to enforce those agreements.”

“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,” the suit says.  Continuing, 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.”

HP is demanding an injunction against the recent hire by Oracle, an order for Hurd to provide notification in written form to HP.

Hurd resigned suddenly in August, after HP’s board of directors concluded that he had violated the company’s code of business conduct in regards to his relationship with a former marketing contractor, who also worked with HP.

The confidentiality agreement Hurd signed states that after leaving the company he would not provide services to any competitor of HP in any capacity. The agreement reportedly also states that he would not solicit any HP customers, employees, or suppliers after leaving the company.

According to the agreement signed, Hurd had agreed to provide HP with written notice prior to taking the job. HP says he failed to do so when hired by Oracle.


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