Oracle and HP have continued their squabbles exacerbated by the poaching of Mark Hurd following a scathing article by a journalist writing for The New York Times.
Business columnist Joe Nocera let rip about HP's replacement CEO, Léo Apotheker, a former top man at SAP.
He wrote: "Is it possible that the hiring of Apotheker was motivated by the board's desire to strike back at Oracle? And that, with Apotheker on board, H.P. would try to encroach on Oracle's software stronghold just as Oracle was moving into H.P.'s hardware arena? There are analysts who are convinced that was the case."
As The Wall Street Journal commented, Norcera highlighted the complex web of who has worked for who, with considerable movement of execs between the two companies. He also wrote about entangled property theft accusations the gist of which was "Don't throw stones at Hurd when you have such a dirty glass house."
Norcera wrote: "It takes your breath away, really: the same board that viewed Hurd's minor expense account shenanigans as intolerable has chosen as its new C.E.O. someone involved - however tangentially - with the most serious business crime you can commit."
The WSJ published a letter from incoming HP non-executive chairman Ray Lane (another ex Oracle employee). It said the column ‘grossly mischaracterises' why Hurd left HP and why Oracle appointed Apotheker.
It said that Oracle has been pursuing a case against SAP for ages but there has never been any evidence that Apotheker was involved.
"As for the reasons why Mr. Hurd left HP: no Board can retain a CEO who violates the trust and integrity needed to lead a public company. Even Hurd publicly acknowledged that he failed to uphold those necessary standards," Lane wrote.
In fact, Lane went as far as to accuse Hurd of misleading the HP board, which had ‘no alternative' but to sack him.
He reportedly wrote: "The bottom line is: Hurd violated the trust of the Board by repeatedly lying to them in the course of an investigation into his conduct. He violated numerous elements of HP's Standards of Business Conduct and he demonstrated a serious lack of integrity and judgment."
Lane also reaffirmed the board's confidence in its new CEO, and reportedly said: "In hiring Léo Apotheker, HP's Board turned to a principled leader of outstanding personal and professional integrity. He is an experienced, strategic thinker with the passion, global experience and operational discipline to realize our company's enormous potential. Those are the qualities HP needs in a leader to move the company forward, and Apotheker is ideally suited to do that."