Oracle CEO Larry Ellison Slams HP CEO Choice
So much for burying the hatchet. The simmering feud between Hewlett-Packard and Oracle has caught fire again. This time, the spark involved Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who slammed HP’s board for naming a former SAP CEO as HP’s new CEO. Here’s the story.
As you’ll recall, SAP veteran Leo Apotheker is set to join HP as CEO on November 1, 2010. But Oracle’s Ellison is slamming HP’s CEO choice because Apotheker “had been in charge of SAP at a time when it was stealing Oracle’s software,” Ellison allegedly told The Financial Times. Moreover, Ellison told The Wall Street Journal that HP’s board members should resign for allegedly making a bad CEO choice. HP declined to comment for The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times stories.
Of course, Ellison’s statements could be an attempt to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) about Hewlett-Packard. And the media seems to be eating it up.
Some investors seem to share Ellison’s underwhelming view of Apotheker; HP shares fell significantly after HP announced its CEO choice. Meanwhile, Oracle co-president Mark Hurd and the Oracle-Sun team attempt to compete more aggressively against HP’s server team.
Still, HP a few days ago offered an upbeat financial view to Wall Street. And HP Channel Chief Stephen DiFranco is set to attend the Ingram Micro VentureTech Network (VTN) conference in San Francisco this week.
Competing and Cooperating?
HP and Oracle spent most of September 2010 feuding over Oracle’s decision to hire former HP CEO Mark Hurd. HP filed suit to block Hurd from working for Oracle, but the legal dispute was settled after Hurd agreed to return some of his severance package to HP.
But HP’s hiring of Apotheker seems to have inspired Ellison to flame HP’s board, using a series of emails sent to the media.