Misguided Insult To Misguided Injury: HP Sues To Stop Mark Hurd From Taking New Job

from the what-a-waste dept

The most credible explanation I've seen so far as to why HP fired Mark Hurd last month, even after it determined that he had not actually engaged in sexual harassment, was that the Mark Hurd help lead the investigation into the board over the infamous pretexting scandal, and that the whole story about the supposed harassment and fudged expense reports were just an excuse to get rid of a CEO the board didn't like -- even as he was performing tremendously well.

If that explanation is actually true, it also helps explain the news that HP is now going to sue Hurd for accepting his new job as President at Oracle. As HP's lawyers absolutely must know, California has a law that the courts have interpreted quite broadly, that says noncompete agreements are not enforceable, because you cannot deny a person the right to earn a living. HP is (weakly) trying to get around this by claiming the job shift would violate "confidentiality agreements" and trade secrets, but there's almost no chance a court buys that. The lawsuit seems like a non-starter. In fact, the only reason for filing the lawsuit really seems to be an absolute pest. It's an incredibly childish move by a company that should know better.

Filed Under: confidentiality, mark hurd, noncompete, trade secrets
Companies: hp, oracle

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  1. identicon
    out_of_the_blue, 7 Sep 2010 @ 5:16pm

    One of us has misread, and I think it's you, Mike:

    'According to The Big Lie: Spying, Scandal and Ethical Collapse at Hewlett-Packard, an authoritative account by the former BusinessWeek writer Anthony Bianco, Mr. Hurd was very involved in H.P.s efforts to hunt down the leakers. After the scandal broke, he hijacked H.P.s internal investigation, hiring an outside law firm and ordering it to report directly to him, instead of the board, which is the normal practice.'

    'There is plenty of evidence from H.P.s own documents that he had a much bigger role in starting the investigations and carrying them out than he ever let on, Mr. Bianco said. H.P. security had a SWAT team to root out the leakers. They were clearly trying to please him.'

    >>> Repeating from above: "Mr. Hurd was very involved in H.P.s efforts to hunt down the leakers" -- Hurd was evidently NOT going against the board, so I fail to grasp what you mean by "help lead the investigation into the board". -- And they paid him $40 to $50 million to leave, they hate him *so* bad.

    The HP board was merely minimizing liability by denying the sleazy allegations.

    Oh, and the employees hate Hurd too. The 2nd page of the first link, and comments by alleged former employees on other forums support that.

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