HP sues Hurd over move to Oracle

Ex-CEO is violating severance agreement, HP says

Hewlett-Packard is suing its former CEO Mark Hurd, who was named co-president of rival Oracle on Monday, saying his hiring violates the terms of a severance agreement he signed with HP.

Hurd left HP last month after a scandal involving an undisclosed relationship with a contractor and alleged improprieties with expense reports.

"Mark Hurd agreed to and signed agreements designed to protect HP's trade secrets and confidential information. HP intends to enforce those agreements," the company said in a statement.

"Despite being paid millions of dollars in cash, stock and stock options in exchange for Hurd's agreements to protect HP's trade secrets .... HP is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Hurd has put HP's most valuable trade secrets and confidential information in peril," states the suit, which was filed Tuesday in a Santa Clara, California, court.

Hurd's new role will place him "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," it adds.

Hurd signed confidentiality agreements in February 2008, February 2009 and last February, according to his severance agreement.

An Oracle spokeswoman declined comment.

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