Hewlett-Packard and Oracle have sold a slew of IT systems together for a lot of years, with HP providing the servers and Oracle the middleware and business applications.
That relationship looks a little dicey now since HP filed a lawsuit Sept. 7 in civil court against Oracle and its new co-president, Mark Hurd. The lawyers were called because Hurd had freshly "retired" from HP (Aug. 6) with a $40 million platinum parachute and might know some industry secrets about his former company that could be valuable to Oracle.
If Hurd violated his severance agreement with HP, then he'll have to face the law. If he didn't, the lawyers make some unexpected dough and he'll just go on to a new job with an extra $40 million in the bank.
(There is something very cockamamie about a guy basically getting fired and taking home $40 million for the privilege, don't you think? Strange days we live in.)
Oracle co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison, who chided HP for making "the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago," released his comeback late Sept. 7.
"Oracle has long viewed HP as an important partner," Ellison said. "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."
Well, the HP-Oracle relationship may be a bit strained at this time, but litigation like this isn't going to change anything. Those two make too much money cooperatively to not work together anymore.
HP simply doesn't want its former Smartest Guy in the Room moving from Palo Alto to Redwood City, that's all.