Hewlett Packard settles Oracle case over Hurd job

Mark Hurd
Image caption Mr Hurd's appointment was controversial

Computer maker Hewlett-Packard (HP) has settled a lawsuit brought against former boss Mark Hurd as it tried to stop him joining rival Oracle.

Under the deal, Mr Hurd will give up about $30m (£19.3m) in HP shares he was given in his severance package.

He joined the database software maker a month after leaving HP.

Mr Hurd would keep "obligations to protect HP's confidential information while fulfilling his responsibilities at Oracle", the firms said.

'Advantage' claim

Oracle announced the appointment of Mr Hurd as co-president earlier this month.

Mr Hurd, a friend of Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison, was forced to quit HP after a sexual harassment investigation.

He denied any wrongdoing and a probe found that he had not broken harassment rules, but was in breach of HP's "standards of business conduct."

HP had claimed that Oracle would gain "a strategic advantage as to where to allocate or not allocate resources and exploit the knowledge of HP's strengths and weaknesses" as a result of hiring Mr Hurd.

But it now said it was confident Mr Hurd could perform all his duties without revealing HP's trade secrets.

Oracle and Hewlett-Packard are closely linked as companies, having worked together for 25 years to ensure their products were compatible.

Major technology firms have spent the last few years trying to straddle hardware, software and data storage in a bid to remain relevant.

Oracle recently took over rival Sun Microsystems, while HP has fought off Dell to take over the data storage company 3Par.

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