As trial looms, Oracle taking aim at HP's new CEO

Oct 28, 2010 By JORDAN ROBERTSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison is escalating his attacks on his friend-turned-foe Hewlett-Packard Co.

Ellison claims he has proof that HP's new CEO, Leo Apotheker, oversaw a corporate-espionage scheme at a previous employer, , that involved the theft of Oracle software.

Oracle's trial against SAP is scheduled to start Monday in California, the same day Apotheker is scheduled to start work at HP.

The trial wasn't expected to produce fireworks, since SAP has acknowledged that a subsidiary stole Oracle customer-support materials, and the two sides are now fighting only over damages.

But it's now shaping up to be a spectacle involving three of the biggest companies in enterprise computing.

HP said that Apotheker didn't supervise the subsidiary and shut it down shortly after he took the reins at SAP in 2008. SAP called Ellison's comments an attempt to create a "sideshow."

The trial has let Ellison drag several old foes at once into a public brawl.

One is SAP. Oracle has long competed with SAP in business software.

Another is Apotheker, who spent more than 20 years at SAP, most recently as CEO. He went head-to-head against Oracle in software for years, and now at HP, will do the same in computer servers, earning him Ellison's wrath twice over.

And still another is Ray Lane, a former Oracle president whom Ellison ousted in a high-profile power struggle a decade ago, and who is HP's new chairman.

Ellison has broadcast his animosity for Apotheker and Lane in a series of news releases.

He criticized Apotheker for not immediately shutting down the SAP division that stole Oracle documents, TomorrowNow, when he was named SAP's co-CEO in April 2008, and Lane for coming to Apotheker's defense.

In July 2008, SAP announced plans to shut the troubled subsidiary, and several months later it was officially closed.

"Why so long? We'd like to know," Ellison said. "Ray Lane and the rest of the HP board do not want anyone to know. That's the new HP Way with Ray in charge and Leo on the run. It's time to change the HP tagline from 'Invent' to 'Steal'."

SAP called Ellison's comments show his "personal campaign against HP and desire to create a sideshow."

"Our focus in the case is on determining fair and reasonable compensation, and we won't let personal vendettas interfere with the court's judgment," SAP said in a statement Wednesday.

HP emphasized that Apotheker wasn't responsible for the problematic SAP division and had little knowledge about its innerworkings.

"Given Leo's limited knowledge of and role in the matter, Oracle's last-minute effort to require him to appear live at trial is no more than an effort to harass him and interfere with his duties and responsibilities as HP's CEO," HP said.

Explore further: Monoprice takes on Amazon in trade of cheap electronics

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

HP board's selection of new CEO raises new doubts

Sep 30, 2010

(AP) -- Hewlett-Packard Co.'s board upset many investors when it forced out Mark Hurd as CEO nearly two months ago. Now, those directors appear to have baffled Wall Street with its selection of HP's new leader ...

SAP won't fight Oracle claims in espionage case

Aug 06, 2010

(AP) -- In a surprise twist in a corporate espionage case involving two of the world's biggest business software makers, SAP AG on Thursday said it won't fight claims that a subsidiary stole valuable data from rival Oracle ...

Choice of CEO signals new direction for HP

Oct 01, 2010

(AP) -- The appointment of a German software executive as Hewlett-Packard Co.'s next CEO sends an unmistakable signal that the board of the world's largest technology company is prepared to gamble big on ...

Recommended for you

Chinese tech giant Alibaba set to make a splash with US IPO

13 hours ago

The largest tech IPO of the year will come from a company that many Americans have never heard of. Alibaba Group - a Chinese e-commerce behemoth - has decided to go public in the U.S. after months of speculation that it would ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Apr 19, 2014

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Apr 19, 2014

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Finnish inventor rethinks design of the axe

(Phys.org) —Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä is the man behind the Vipukirves Leveraxe, which is a precision tool for splitting firewood. He designed the tool to make the job easier and more efficient, with ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...