Oracle Points Finger at New HP CEO

By Cindy Waxer October 27, 2010

Remember the good old days when HP and Oracle were reaffirming their long-term strategic partnerships and issuing gushing press releases that read, “HP and Oracle have been important partners for more than 20 years and are committed to working together to provide exceptional products and service to our customers,” said Cathie Lesjak, chief financial officer and interim chief executive officer of HP, in a statement. “We look forward to collaborating with Oracle in the future.”

Well, that was last month. Now, Oracle’s CEO, Larry Ellison, is accusing HP’s incoming CEO of hatching a scheme to steal Oracle's software by rival SAP AG.

According to a Reuters report, SAP has admitted in court documents that it stole Oracle's software. A jury trial is scheduled to begin on Monday to determine how much SAP should pay Oracle to settle the case, with Oracle seeking about $2 billion in damages and SAP aiming to settle for just tens of millions of dollars.

Determining the complicity of HP’s incoming CEO requires understanding the tech sector’s ongoing game of musical chairs. In August, HP’s Mark Hurd resigned his position amid a sexual-harassment scandal. Oracle promptly hired him as one of its presidents. Then HP hired SAP's former CEO, Leo Apotheker, to replace Hurd and named former Oracle COO, Ray Lane, as its chairman.

"A few weeks ago I accused HP's new CEO, Leo Apotheker, of overseeing an industrial espionage scheme centering on the repeated theft of massive amounts of Oracle's software. A major portion of this theft occurred while Mr. Apotheker was CEO of SAP," Ellison said in a statement. "HP's Chairman, Ray Lane, immediately came to Mr. Apotheker's defense by writing a letter stating, 'Oracle has been litigating this case for years and has never offered any evidence that Mr. Apotheker was involved.' Well, that's what we are planning to do during the trial that starts next Monday."

The case now goes to a trial by jury to determine damages.




Edited by Jaclyn Allard

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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