It was not long ago HP and Oracle announced an end to the legal action that followed Hurd’s appointment to Ellison’s team. Now HP has made an appointment that angers Oracle – more pointedly, Larry Ellison.
Leo Apotheker is to be HP’s new chief executive – a decision that Ellison has not been shy in contesting, though he did brand himself ‘speechless’ in the Wall Street Journal.
Ellison wrote, “HP had several good internal candidates…but instead they pick a guy who was recently fired because he did such a bad job of running SAP,”
Wanting to make sure his point of view was clear, Ellison also wrote to the Financial Times referring to Apotheker’s history with SAP. “SAP has already publicly confessed and accepted financial responsibility for systematically stealing Oracle’s intellectual property. Much of this industrial espionage and intellectual property theft occurred while Apotheker was CEO.”
SAP accepted some responsibility when faced with the accusations from Oracle (copyright and computer violations) but denies the damage runs to one billion dollars as suggested.
Ellison believes the HP employees and customers will be the ones to suffer, along with partners and shareholders. He went as far as to suggest that all of the HP board should step down. However, Ellison did not back down over his choice to hire Hurd, so it would be hard to imagine HP changing their decision. In fact, HP made no comment in response to Ellison’s fury. How long will the ‘no comment’ stance hold?