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HP Sues Hurd For Joining Oracle

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the following-the-hurd dept.

HP 301

CWmike writes "Hewlett-Packard is reported to be suing former CEO Mark Hurd, who was named co-president of rival Oracle on Monday. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news, and has now posted the full text of the suit on Google Docs. Among other things, it says, 'In his new positions, Hurd will be in a situation in which he cannot perform his duties for Oracle without necessarily using and disclosing HP's trade secrets and confidential information to others.'"

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301 comments

Well (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33501804)

The GNU this was going to happen.

Re:Well (2, Funny)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502288)

The GNU this was going to happen.

You know, I read this headline and immediately thought of GNU Hurd... And then I thought about it, and remembered that it couldn't possibly be about GNU Hurd, because GNU Hurd hasn't been relevant since... ever.

Should've kept him (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#33501820)

Of course I don't know what peculiarities were in his golden parachute contract as far as how long he couldn't work for the/any competition but I doubt he didn't talk this over with some corporate lawyers at least.

In any case, if they don't like him bringing his ass(ets) over to another company, they should've kept him. Nothing much they can do about it now unless he's still under contract.

Re:Should've kept him (3, Insightful)

JeffSpudrinski (1310127) | more than 3 years ago | (#33501912)

That's pretty much it.

Unless there's a signed "non-compete" document from Hurd, HP will just have to live with their mess up.

I'd be surprised if Mr. Hurd signed such a document.

Just my $0.02

-JJS

Re:Should've kept him (3, Insightful)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 3 years ago | (#33501970)

The lawsuit isn't about Oracle competing with HP, it's about disclosing HP trade secrets. At this stage I doubt HP has any real secrets left though as their development seems quite stale.

HP's trade secrets: (5, Funny)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502094)

Secret 1: Outsource everything.
Secret 2: Employees are interchangeable.
Secret 3: Good enough is probably too expensive.
Secret 4: There is still at least enough good will for the HP name to milk another five years.

Re:HP's trade secrets: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502874)

Sounds like American Express. Except add

6. Layoff Americans and hire Indians at half price can be easily pushed around.

Re:Should've kept him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502440)

That's something they ought to have considered before they fired him. IMHO when they gave him the axe, his responsibility to HP ended. He cannot un-know what he knows, and HP can't rightfully deny his making a living.

Re:Should've kept him (1, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#33501978)

bingo.

confidentiality means nothing. Really they're citing news articles as their reasoning for the suit.

what HP is trying to due here, is a: trying to make Hurd look bad and b: try to extract money from oracle by forcing them to settle. Why bother with A? I'm quite certain that if he's not found guilty he could actually sue HP for libel on this one, citing the complaint.

They're trying to claim misappropriation of trade secrets, but considering he has been at HP maybe a week? They have nothing to show for it at all.

Really, HP has to be out of their minds to do this.

Re:Should've kept him (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502002)

additional note: whether to be able to sue successfully is anyone's guess. But I wonder if he would have a libel case in such an instance.

Re:Should've kept him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502974)

additional note: whether to be able to sue successfully is anyone's guess. But I wonder if he would have a libel case in such an instance.

The answer is hell no. Libel would require them to knowingly sue him under false pretenses. Which would amount to perjury, which would be far worse than libel.

HP may not be able to prevail in their law suit, which is not the same as Hurd being found not guilty, since this isn't a criminal matter, but if there's a reasonable belief on the part of HP and their attorneys, they're merely acting in their own interest, and not liable for anything.

Re:Should've kept him (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502216)

"confidentiality means nothing"

I'm curious why you believe this.

"I'm quite certain that if he's not found guilty he could actually sue HP for libel on this one, citing the complaint."

First, I suppose it's a bit of a technicallity, but this is a civil filing. He is not accused of a crime. There is no "guilty" or "not guilty".

Second, defamation suits are notoriously hard to win in the U.S. Filing a civil complaint that is later dismissed is not, in and of itself, at all likely to constitute libel. I would assume the courts would be very hesitant to view allegations in a civil suit as defamation (though if they did, I'd have a couple real winners to pursue myself).

But in any event, what claims of fact do you believe are defamatory and false in this particular filing? I didn't notice any.

Re:Should've kept him (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502924)

"confidentiality means nothing"

I'm curious why you believe this.

Probably because it's true. Once you're no longer working for the company you are no longer under any obligation to keep anything secret, unless you've agreed not to, either in writing or as a part of a verbal agreement. I used to work for a company that required all kinds of silence about just about everything. The moment I quit though, I stopped being silent about any of it. At that point there wasn't a damned thing they could do about it as I hadn't agreed to remain silent after separating from the company, and they knew I had the goods to prove everything I was saying. And more really, because I had documentation on other things that they'd been doing which I haven't leaked.

Re:Should've kept him (4, Informative)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502080)

Unless there's a signed "non-compete" document from Hurd, HP will just have to live with their mess up.

In California, non-compete agreements [wikipedia.org] have been disallowed by the courts...

May have to return part of severance (2, Interesting)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502544)

In California, non-compete agreements [wikipedia.org] have been disallowed by the courts...

That may allow him to work at Oracle, barring trade secret or proprietary information issues, but it may not allow him to keep all of his severance. I think you may be able to pay a person not to work for a competitor for a reasonable time frame. They still have the right to do so but may be required to return the payment.

Re:Should've kept him (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502230)

I wouldn't be surprised at all if there were a ream of confidentiality documents that all corporate officers have to sign. Perhaps also a non-compete agreement as well. These folks have access to lots of info, technical and otherwise, that would be potentially devastating if leaked outside the company.

That being said, this sort of bickering isn't unusual when a high ranking player leaves one company and goes to work for a competitor. See Microsoft/Google, and various others. HP will get some money and assurances from Oracle, and that will be that. I'd expect that part of the courtship between Oracle and Hurd involved legal types surveying what potential obligations and fallout there might be, and before now they have already calculated that estimate into the cost of hiring him.

Re:Should've kept him (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502688)

When I worked for a company in CA they wanted me to sign a non-compete document. I asked what would happen if I didn't want to sign it. They just told me not to sign it. I gave it back blank. It didn't affect my hiring or future employment.

Re:Should've kept him (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33501952)

- or he could have thought with his big head instead of his little one.

Non-disclosure/non-competes still apply after you leave - more so when you're fired for cause. You *can* challenge them if you were terminated w/o cause, but that's not the case here.

Re:Should've kept him (2, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502010)

Non-disclosure/non-competes still apply after you leave - more so when you're fired for cause. You *can* challenge them if you were terminated w/o cause, but that's not the case here.

No, they don't apply at all. Any non-compete clauses in a contract are invalidated by California law.

Re:Should've kept him (3, Informative)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502100)

No, they don't apply at all. Any non-compete clauses in a contract are invalidated by California law.

That's true in the general case, but California law still allows a company to sue to prevent use of its trade secrets, which is the angle HP is taking here.

Also (3, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502348)

This could have been different in that it may have been required to get his bonus. That sort of thing is almost always legal, since it is regular contract law. You come work for me, we have a normal employment agreement. However I say "You know, there's a lot of stuff you are privy to that I don't want getting out. So if I lay you off, I'll give you a big bonus, but in turn for that you can't go work for my competitors, you can't write an expose book, and so on."

Now of course you don't have to do agree to that, but if you don't, you don't get the bonus.

So while California may well say "You can't have a non-compete on normal employment," a termination bonus is a different thing.

Re:Also (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502978)

I find that legal reasoning interesting but have never heard it before. Are you a California lawyer? or do you know California employment law particularly well? or can you provide a source for that tidbit? I just find it a little tough to believe and would like to hear more.

Re:Should've kept him (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502354)

Prior to any of said trade secrets being used? Good luck with that one...

Trade secrets secrets separate from noncompete (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502638)

Prior to any of said trade secrets being used? Good luck with that one...

Trade secrets and proprietary information can never be disclosed. Noncompete agreements may be null and void at the time of signing but nondisclosure agreements can last forever.

Re:Trade secrets secrets separate from noncompete (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502848)

If we accept that at the CEO level then we must accept the massive compensation packages these guys get because then they'd never be able to work. Any CEO making the big money also has the big bills which have to be paid.

And if that were the case then the middle level guy would forever be shunned unable to find work because he knows to much about the workings of the company.

There's a limit to what they can force non-disclosure on. Otherwise, it would be a one hit wonder for so many managers and executives.

Re:Should've kept him (2, Insightful)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502806)

This has happened before. I think it was with some Microsoft employee living in CA that went to work for Google. I can't remember the specifics. Though they still hired the guy it was agreed that he wouldn't be used in a position that directly exposed his knowledge gained from his prior job.

In reality, though you can't limit it all. Some people need to work and some are highly specialized. It would be onerous to force people to comply with non-compete clauses (if they were valid in CA). In this case, the termination would probably play a bigger role than if he were to have left on his own. Had HP sued him for leaving on his own with the intent of disclosing trade secrets that would have been another matter. But he was fired and to find gainful employment at his level of expertise he would have to disclose some information. This has to be accounted for.

Frankly, this is simply spiteful behavior on HP's part. In the end, after the suit has ended, if it goes to trial, I'm sure we'll find out more about how HP and Hurd parted ways--particularly the fact that their now in charge CEO illegally aired Hurd's dirty laundry--which it is well known that an employer is forbidden from doing that. I'm sure Hurd will have his own leverage against the board and Chairman.

Re:Should've kept him (4, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502390)

Especially since he signed a separation agreement that paid him $12,224,693.00 in return for keeping those secrets, and agreeing not to accept employment that would conflict. He can now kiss that money good-bye, as the lawyers will eat it up.

Re:Should've kept him (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502866)

Ellison isn't a stupid man. He is also a multi-billionaire. I'm sure he and Hurd worked out the specifics of the separation package and any signing bonus.

Re:Should've kept him (2, Insightful)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502698)

Depends on where Hurd was employed as a lot of companies incorporate in Delaware for tax reasons - I could see companies doing similar things with employment ie their Catberts shop around for an employer friendly state and make them "mobile" workers who are “employed” in the employer friendly state.

Basically at this level you hire expensive barristers and attempt to rip the other side to pieces in court – I suspect that HP will bring up all the “dirt” that they hid when Hurd left – presumably under the American equivalent of a “compromise agreement”

Re:Should've kept him (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502876)

And Hurd will be in a position to bring up all the dirt about the board and it's chairman.

This is just HP acting spitefully, IMHO.

Re:Should've kept him (3, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502266)

Any non-compete clauses in a contract are invalidated by California law.

So Hurd can never leave California to visit an Oracle office elsewhere without being slapped with a lawsuit in another jurisdiction. Sounds like HP will enjoy that :-)

They're alleging

  1. misapropriation of trade secrets (article 2 of the complaint)
  2. breech of contract (article 3 of the complaint)

They cite California Civil Code 3426.2(a) [onecle.com], so no, contracts are not automatically invalidated - it depends on the terms of employment.

California Civil Code Section 3426.2

(a) Actual or threatened misappropriation may be enjoined. Upon application to the court, an injunction shall be terminated when the trade secret has ceased to exist, but the injunction may be continued for an additional period of time in order to eliminate commercial advantage that otherwise would be derived from the misappropriation.
(b) If the court determines that it would be unreasonable to prohibit future use, an injunction may condition future use upon payment of a reasonable royalty for no longer than the period of time the use could have been prohibited.
(c) In appropriate circumstances, affirmative acts to protect a trade secret may be compelled by court order.

It's quite simple - his new job at Oracle puts him in a position where he will be violating HP trade secrets. He simply cannot work as the CEO of any large US IT company without attracting such a lawsuit.

Re:Should've kept him (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502966)

That would be unseemly to say the least. You file suit in the defendants home jurisdiction. I realize that corporations love to venue shop, but you're supposed to file suit in the venue most convenient to the defendant in the case. I'm not sure how that came to be, but I suspect it had to do with not wanting to force somebody to settle because they couldn't afford to travel to court.

Re:Should've kept him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502388)

I doulbt that any non-compete type agreement is valid after the company pressured him out of work. The board should have thought that out before they made a decision which left Hurd out of a job. According to NetworkWorld; "The investigation...found that Hurd did not violate HP's sexual harassment policy" that "Hurd had a "close personal relationship" with a marketing contractor". "Mike Holston, HP's general counsel said There were... inaccurate expense reports from Hurd meant to hide his personal relationship with the contractor" and "the amount of expenses we're talking about are not material to HP." So HP made a poor decision in picking their battles. What are they going to do, try and force the guy out of work?

Came here looking for some relevance between GNU (2, Funny)

kungfuj35u5 (1331351) | more than 3 years ago | (#33501830)

Hurd and Oracle only to find out once again it's talking about this guy. Man, he should really change his name.

Re:Came here looking for some relevance between GN (5, Funny)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502020)

I'm just surprised Oracle wanted him. From what I've heard about Hurd, he can be unstable, and isn't quite ready for daily use.

Re:Came here looking for some relevance between GN (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502122)

From what I can tell, Larry Ellison knows Mr. Hurd personally, and also Hurd's ability to not run HP into the ground during a major worldwide recession (despite his paycheck) are pretty good indicators of how he'll do at Oracle. Think of Hurd as a very well paid sales person. Think Pete Campbell from Mad Men.

Re:Came here looking for some relevance between GN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502190)

GP's joke just went entirely over your head, didn't it...

You shouldn't have fired him then. (3, Insightful)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 3 years ago | (#33501846)

That's all.

Re:You shouldn't have fired him then. (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#33501918)

Technically, he resigned. Unofficially, he was forced out. According to many current and former HP employees he was a great CEO, but a horrible employer. Most are still disgusted at his $40 million (approx) severance, considering the pay cuts they endured last year, and all the layoffs.

Re:You shouldn't have fired him then. (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502070)

Maybe this is nice and neat way to take some money back, lol. Anyway, if all the employees are signing such a clause, and are forced to oblige it, why it should be different for the big guys???

Re:You shouldn't have fired him then. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502214)

According to many current and former HP employees he was a great CEO, but a horrible employer.

What does that mean? To me, it sounds like you are saying he is a great leader, but bad at making others follow.

Re:You shouldn't have fired him then. (4, Insightful)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502320)

He made lots of money for stockholders, but at the expense of the employees. Remember, CEOs work for the company, which is defined as the shareholders. They often view their employees as resources to be exploited, like untapped oil reserves, or forests full of uncut trees. To this end, they are employers, with the power to hire and fire. Good employers take care of their employees. Bad ones exploit them. According to many current and former HP employees, Mark Hurd served the shareholders well, steering the company in a direction that made them a lot of money, but did so by exploiting his employees. Ergo, good CEO, but bad employer.

How is it... (2, Insightful)

tacarat (696339) | more than 3 years ago | (#33501854)

Somebody makes sure that lowly IT workers get served up with non-compete clauses in contracts, but the guy at the top didn't?

Re:How is it... (3, Insightful)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 3 years ago | (#33501908)

cause the guys at the top are the ones making that decision, and would never dream of putting something like that in that may one day limit their ability to make millions.

This will certainly test California law (2, Interesting)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#33501856)

California has a pretty clear cut law [lawzilla.com] that makes almost all non-compete clauses NULL and VOID. It'll be interesting to see how this one plays out.

Re:This will certainly test California law (4, Informative)

JeffSpudrinski (1310127) | more than 3 years ago | (#33501984)

From your link:

"Non-compete agreements are enforceable for partnerships and when someone is selling their ownership interest in a company. A related topic is the protection of trade secrets. A company can prevent the use of its trade secrets, but it cannot prevent fair competition"

Looks like they are trying to use the "trade secrets" protection part.

You are correct in that it should be interesting to see how it plays out.

Just my $0.02.

-JJS

Re:This will certainly test California law (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502212)

I wonder if there is some legal value to suing Oracle about trade secrets and getting them to settle and promise to never use HP trade secrets. Then in the future, HP would have something in writing to beat Oracle up with if it's to their advantage...but IANAL.

Law different for owners and executives (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502322)

California has a pretty clear cut law [lawzilla.com] that makes almost all non-compete clauses NULL and VOID.

Not quite. My understanding is that the law treats owners and the highest ranked executives differently than ordinary worker. Especially when trade secrets and other proprietary information is involved.

However even for workers the law you cite can get fuzzy. Lets say you agree to accept a payment in return for not working at a competitor for a reasonable amount of time, say a year. If you choose to take such a job you may be free to do so but you may also need to return the payment.

A toast, to Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33501864)

Who says being corrupt doesn't pay off

Hire another (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 3 years ago | (#33501898)

Now if they can just hire Jodie Fisher for his assistant, Mark will be one happy co-prez.

If we can't have you, no one can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33501900)

But we don't want you. Maybe you should try farming.

We may allow you to work elsewhere if you agree to a partial lobotomy or prolonged heavy LSD use.

Non-compete agreements (1)

mkawick (190367) | more than 3 years ago | (#33501904)

In general, non-compete agreements are not enforceable. There are exceptions, but in this case, Hurd was fired/released and as such, non-competes are particularly egregious. The courts will have to decide, but this one is likely to work in Hurd's favor.

Re:Non-compete agreements (3, Insightful)

mkawick (190367) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502000)

Also, they are demanding immediate injunctive relief... which court is available that can read this complaint today. With courts slammed and Congress unable to approve judges (or do much of anything useful), where will anyone be able to provide "immediate" injunctive relief?

Lastly, Hurd hasn't done anything yet. They are finding him guilty without any proof, before the fact, and without due process. Boy is HP a bunch of brats... "we can't have him and you can't either".

At least they didn't try to have him killed.

Re:Non-compete agreements (3, Funny)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502254)

At least they didn't try to have him killed.

How would we know? A comically small cardboard cutout of a piano falling on his head? A swath of underpaid Chinese martial artists that surround him, then are summarily laid off? Someone tries to shoot him with an HP branded Smith & Wesson, with "Innovate" written on the bullets, but nobody can get the bullets to move?

Re:Non-compete agreements (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502064)

There are exceptions, but in this case, Hurd was fired/released

In effect, yes, though technically (and presumably for legal purposes) he did resign.

California law invalidates most non-competes; in this case, HP is going after one of the things they don't invalidate.

Painful (3, Funny)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 3 years ago | (#33501920)

That's right, HP, kick Oracle where it hurds!

Re:Painful (4, Funny)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 3 years ago | (#33501990)

Where the sun doesn't shine?

Isn't that what the parachute is for? (5, Insightful)

strangeattraction (1058568) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502026)

You are given the parachute in return for the non-compete clause. Therefore you are being compensated for not just getting fired and going to the competition and spilling your guts. The grace period lets your knowledge specific to the company go out of date.

Re:Isn't that what the parachute is for? (4, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502110)

You are given the parachute in return for the non-compete clause.

Maybe a little bit. But I think it's more for not airing dirty laundry that might have bad impacts on the stock price.

But mostly, you're given the golden parachute so that you will return the favor in kind at the corporations where you sit on the board. Isn't that how the game is played?

Karma for the BoD (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502040)

Hurd has shown no loyalty to the American worker for years. It seems fitting the BoD will now suffer the consequences of having a leader who's happy to sell out and destroy anybody for a few dollars.

Re:Karma for the BoD (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502198)

Hurd has shown no loyalty to the American worker for years.

That's an anachronism. No one shows loyalty to an ephemeral concept like "the American worker", except for politicians playing for votes and demagogues playing for eyeballs. Hurd hasn't shown loyalty to HP workers, this is true. By why should he have shown them loyalty? He was paid by HP shareholders to be loyal to them, not to be loyal to workers. CEOs at large companies don't depend on workers for their livelihood -- they depend on the Board of Shareholders. Why would their loyalties lie elsewhere?

It seems fitting the BoD will now suffer the consequences

What's the BoD? Bag of Dicks? And how will they suffer any consequences?

Popcorn ready...but who to root for? (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502072)

This is gonna kinda be like Godzilla vs. Mothra. It doesn't matter who wins the city of Tokyo is TOAST!

Re:Popcorn ready...but who to root for? (3, Interesting)

LouisJBouchard (316266) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502164)

Personally I am rooting on Hurd because that will help many of the little people too with these same clauses. I think that if they do not want him working for a set period of time, then then need to pay him for that time based on current salary (same as any other worker whom they do not want to work for the competition). That would make things fair for both sides.

So, if others decide to jump ship at HP... (5, Funny)

ddusza (775603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502124)

...and decides to go to Oracle, is that considering 'following the Hurd?"

HP Needs to Let it Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502156)

HP is just trying to pull a fast one. I'm sure they forced him to quit but they also cannot prevent him from obtaining employment in his field. He'll always have that information about their trade secrets. What do they want? A lifetime ban? This is just a tech companies natural flow is to prevent their execs from working for rival companies.

If you ask me, I don't think HP has a leg to stand on. Sooner or later, the courts are going to say "enough is enough" and rule that companies don't have a legal right to prevent someone from obtaining gainful employment. He's anb exec, and HP would just be restraining his efforts to find employment in a field he is qualified for.

You know your ego is huge when... (2, Interesting)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502186)

You sign a non-compete agreement, then immediately sign up with one of the companies biggest competitors!

Either Hurd is actually a complete and utter moron or he has nads the size of Jupiter! I'm going with the latter.

Re:You know your ego is huge when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502370)

I bet Jodie Fisher knows.

Maybe they shouldn't have fucking fired him then? (0, Troll)

fkx (453233) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502286)

Maybe they shouldn't have fucking fired him then?

What did they think he was going to do? Start selling used hp gear on ebay?

I hope Hurd's lawyers are "vicious fucking jew lawyers" as one comedian puts it, and can tear HP a new asshole.

If you know what I mean..

Re:Maybe they shouldn't have fucking fired him the (0)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502330)

Right! How dare they force someone who was stealing to resign?!

I mean, I think it's stupid as shit for a guy making what Hurd was making to essentially grab a little more income that didn't amount to 1% of his take home (or more likely, not want his wife to see it on his credit card bills) to buy stuff for his mistress, but you know? I can't blame a company for not wanting to tolerate embezzlement.

Re:Maybe they shouldn't have fucking fired him the (1)

fkx (453233) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502464)

You know none of that was proven or even demonstrated, right?

It was more like a kneejerk reaction to rumor, like that Dept. of Agriculture lady firing .. Maybe they will apologize and offer him his job back, too.

Re:Maybe they shouldn't have fucking fired him the (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502468)

Lol. Stealing..embezzlement, huh? I can only assume you were on the investigative board, right? I mean you seem to know so much and use such dramatic language.

Citation needed.

All I saw was a report of something like an inaccurate expense report. This could be as simple as mislabeling expense reports which are valid but trying to hide or shift money from one name to another to prevent notice.

You know jack shit about what actually happened.

Define "Trade Secrets" (0)

chargersfan420 (1487195) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502304)

Seriously, how can HP prove that Hurd shared "trade secrets" without a clear definition of what is considered an HP "trade secret"? It sounds to me like FUD unless they can cite specific examples of things that Hurd has (or somehow must in the future) disclose to Oracle. Is it completely impossible for him to do his job without disclosing "trade secrets", and can HP prove that?

Also, if HP is made to clearly define these "trade secrets", wouldn't that make them, well... not so secret anymore?

Suck it HP (4, Insightful)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502438)

California is a Right to Work State, you want to sue to prevent someone from having a job? Then move to Washington or New York.
Here in California we recognize the need for a person to earn a living plying their skill is more important than your need to treat people like property.
But hey, since those lawyers are salaried, better to use them to harass Mr. Sexual Harassment to put those payroll dollars to work am I right?

Re:Suck it HP (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502562)

"California is a Right to Work State, you want to sue to prevent someone from having a job?"

He got a 40 million dollar severance. He never needs another job, period.

He may WANT one, but he doesn't need one, ever again.

Re:Suck it HP (1)

chazzf (188092) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502792)

If he signed a non-compete he waived that right. According to the suit he signed such an agreement.

Re:Suck it HP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502990)

Non-compete agreements are not enforceable in right-to-work states.

However, despite the previous post, I don't think that California is actually a right-to-work state.

Re:Suck it HP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33502894)

Part of me thinks this lawsuit is just leverage to get him to sign additional post-employment documentation. It isn't to prevent him from working for Oracle, just from taking any punitive measures in response for his ouster, from enticing any former co-workers away from HP, and from specific actions at Oracle related to a project he was privy to at HP for a period of time. Their leverage in the lawsuit is probably the cost of lawyering up and defending yourself against this trade secret bullcrap as well as any payments he is still owed by HP per his previous employment contract.

monies? (1)

JernejL (1092807) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502648)

is it me or did they just misspell money as "monies" on page 3 paragraph #4: "Hurd was paid monies, stock and stock options"

Re:monies? (2, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502942)

He was paid so much money it that crossed the mystical line into the "plural money" category. Like, "mo money" except much much mo.

Hmm... (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502702)

I am sort of conflicted on this one...

On one hand, I absolutely loathe Oracle and everything they stand for. They have ruined good will on the internet as a whole, and have terrible products and service.

On the other hand, HP is wrong to try and misuse the trade secret clause to shaft Hurd. They *FIRED* him. THEY terminated his employment. You can get rid of the guy, or you can put up with him - you don't get it both ways. You don't get to dictate how he lives his life after he leaves, HP. Sorry if you're butthurt about it.

No Legs or Wings (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502714)

Trying to sue someone for what they might do is a huge stretch. And the idea that anyone can control a former employee is off the wall in some states. Usually one's obligations end when the pay checks stop. It's called freedom.

Stop digging... (1)

sillivalley (411349) | more than 3 years ago | (#33502868)

Most intelligent people,finding themselves at the bottom of a hole, would stop digging...

HP on the other hand, having dug themselves in pretty deep on this one already, have just hired a crew at many hundreds of dollars per hour to help them dig deeper!
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