Hewlett-Packard Co sued its former chief executive Mark Hurd to block him from joining rival Oracle Corp as a senior executive, alleging the hiring breaches his exit agreement and will lead to a transfer of technology giant's trade secrets to a competitor.
The move comes a day after Oracle announced that Hurd will join the software major as President and member of the board.
According to the 'Wall Street Journal', H-P filed suit in Superior Court of California in Santa Clara County on Tuesday, seeking an injunction against Hurd and unnamed others who helped him join Oracle, and asks for unspecified damages.
Hurd, it claims, "is violating and will continue to violate his legal obligations" as a result of his Oracle appointment, according to the complaint. H-P also asked the court to appoint a "special master" to regularly review Hurd's compliance with his confidentiality agreement, the report noted.
The report quoted an H-P spokesperson as saying, "Hurd agreed to and signed agreements designed to protect H-P's trade secrets and confidential information. H-P intends to enforce those agreements."
Hurd quit HP following allegations of sexual harassment from a marketing contractor who had worked with him last month.
However, later HP's board had cleared the harassment charges after an internal investigation, but did find that he violated HP's code of business conduct, such as filing inaccurate expense reports.
Meanwhile, in a statement Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said that his company and H-P have long been partners but by "filing this vindictive lawsuit" H-P's board "is acting with utter disregard for that partnership, our joint customers, and their own shareholders and employees."
He added that the board "is making it virtually impossible for Oracle and H-P to continue to cooperate."