September 20, 2010 / 9:24 PM / in 7 years

HP and Hurd settle lawsuit over hiring at Oracle

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co has settled a legal dispute over Oracle Corp’s hiring of Mark Hurd, as the two companies moved to mend fences and put the contentious issue behind them.

<p>Mark Hurd, chairman, CEO and president of HP speaks at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Pasadena, California July 24, 2009. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>

The companies said in a joint statement on Monday that, “Hurd will adhere to his obligations to protect HP’s confidential information while fulfilling his responsibilities at Oracle,” but did not provide any details

It was not immediately clear how much of Hurd’s original exit package -- which had been estimated at $34.6 million -- would be affected by the settlement.

Under the deal, Hurd will modify the terms of his separation agreement, waiving his rights to roughly 345,000 restricted stock units, which were granted to him in January 2008 and December 2009. It was not immediately known how much the units were worth.

Representatives from HP and Oracle declined to comment when asked whether the settlement would impact Hurd’s role at Oracle.

Hurd was named Oracle co-president earlier in September, roughly a month after he was ousted in controversial fashion from HP, where he had been chief executive since 2005. HP said he filed inaccurate expense reports related to a female contractor.

HP sued Hurd shortly after Oracle hired him and sought to block him from joining the company. HP said Hurd’s hiring by the rival technology firm put HP’s trade secrets “in peril.”

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison blasted HP’s board, first for pushing Hurd out, and later for moving to block Oracle from hiring him.

HP interim CEO Cathie Lesjak acknowledged that the relationship between the two companies had been “strained” by the matter.

But HP and Oracle reaffirmed a commitment to their partnership on Monday. Oracle’s software runs on HP’s server and storage products and the companies have more than 140,000 joint customers.

“Oracle and HP will continue to build and expand a partnership that has already lasted for over 25 years,” Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said in a statement.

“We look forward to collaborating with Oracle in the future.”

Reporting by Gabriel Madway; editing by Robert MacMillan and Andre Grenon

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