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Leaderless Hewlett-Packard value continues to slide as it settles Hurd suit

HP has failed in its challenge to Oracle's employment of its former CEO Mark Hurd...

Hewlett-Packard its suit against Mark Hurd, former CEO of HP and now co-president at Oracle.

HP had filed a civil suit against Mr. Hurd that claimed, "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."

HP had to come to a quick settlement because its market value since the departure of Mr. Hurd has continued to slide. It has lost $6 billion or more than 6% in market cap to $89.3 billion, while Oracle has jumped by $22 billion, or 19% to $138 billion over the same period.

It's clear that HP cannot afford a long and protracted disagreement with a key business partner.

The announcement comes at the beginning of the Oracle OpenWorld conference, which attracts tens of thousands of IT buyers to San Francisco.

The settlement certainly appears to be a defeat for HP. In a story about deal making in the current issue of The Deal, JMP Securities LLC analyst Pat Walravens says:

"There is no better executive who understands the competitive landscape than Mark Hurd. Oracle now has a general who has an exact blueprint of the enemies' battle plans."

That can't be good for HP. There is no way that Mr. Hurd can not use his competitive knowledge.


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