Former Hewlett Packard CEO Michael Hurd, forced to leave the company following a since discredited sexual harassment complaint, can take the helm at Oracle, after an agreement has been reached between the two companies and Hurd. HP was concerned that the move was too sudden and that Hurd was privy to confidential information about HP’s business strategies, which would benefit rival Oracle.
Everything has a price, however., HP whose stock suffered a combined $19 billion drop since Hurd’s departure, was willing to let Hurd move on, provided that he forgoes $14 million in restricted stock that was part of his severance package. He gets to keep $12.2 million in severance pay, and is currently selling another $30 million in stock that came with his severance package. Then there is his new Oracle salary of just under $1 million, plus the possibility of a $10 billion bonus over the coming year.
Hurd’s move to Oracle is just the latest in a series of spats between the companies that have a long history of collaboration. Oracle has long worked to ensure that its software work smoothly with HP’s hardware, and the two companies had a vast joint client base. Earlier this year, however, Oracle began moving into the hardware market with its purchase of Sun Microsystems, also eyed by HP. Now Oracle has hired HP’s top man as well.
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