Hewlett-Packard has resolved its lawsuit against its former CEO Mark Hurd, which arose after Hurd joined HP’s sometime-collaborator and sometime-rival Oracle. According to a joint statement today from both companies, HP and Hurd have settled. HP canned its CEO in August after it discovered “violations of HP’s Standards of Business Conduct” while investigating a sexual harassment claim against Hurd, then sued when Hurd joined Oracle, whose CEO, Larry Ellison, had publicly defended Hurd after his forced exit from HP.
The story had the drama of a telenovela, but unfortunately for watchers, the drama has been cut short only two weeks after the original suit against Hurd was announced. The statement from HP and Oracle says:
HP and Oracle Corp. today reaffirmed their long-term strategic partnership and the resolution of litigation regarding Mark V. Hurd’s employment at Oracle. While the terms of the settlement are confidential, Mr. Hurd will adhere to his obligations to protect HP’s confidential information while fulfilling his responsibilities at Oracle. The agreement also reaffirms HP and Oracle’s commitment to delivering the best products and solutions to their more than 140,000 shared customers.
It looks like Hurd can keep his job at Oracle, which essentially means that HP blinked. Om had pointed out that the drama behind Hurd’s hiring by Oracle was likely an attempt to distract HP’s management and win more customers. Perhaps HP took a look, and realized that it didn’t want to go up against Ellison and one of its biggest partners.