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9/21/2010
09:42 AM
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Oracle, HP Settle Hurd Lawsuit

Tech giants also pledge to continue joint initiatives around infrastructure products and services.

Oracle and Hewlett-Packard said they have settled HP's non-compete lawsuit against former CEO Mark Hurd. HP filed the claim against Hurd earlier this month after he joined Oracle as a co-president following his resignation from Palo Alto amid claims of sexual impropriety and falsified expense reports.

Though terms of the settlement were not disclosed, one possibility is that Oracle will pick up the tab for at least part of Hurd's lucrative settlement package with HP. Hurd was set to walk away with at least $40 million from his former employer. At Oracle, he's is in line for an annual base salary of $950,000 and a bonus of $10 million in the current fiscal year.

In a win for customers, the two companies also said they would continue to collaborate on a number of joint initiatives.

"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, HP's chief financial officer and acting CEO, in a statement released late Monday.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison also affirmed his commitment to the alliance. "Oracle and HP will continue to build and expand a partnership that has already lasted for over 25 years," said Ellison, also in a statement.

The rapprochement between the two tech giants is in stark contrast to the barbs they exchanged shortly after HP announced Sept. 7 it was suing its former chief. Ellison went so far as to threaten to end the companies' partnership.

"By filing this vindictive lawsuit against Oracle and Mark Hurd, the HP board is acting with utter disregard for that partnership, our joint customers, and their own shareholders and employees," Ellison said at the time.

HP and Oracle have been working together on a number of fronts for several years. Among other things, the companies maintain a joint technology center where Oracle database software is optimized for performance on HP-UX servers, and HP says it’s the leading Oracle applications infrastructure partner.

Joint customers include the state of Kentucky, for which Oracle and HP deployed a new tax system last year. HP shares were up .51%, to $39.59, in early trading Tuesday. Oracle shares were off .80%, to $27.27.

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