updated 07:50 pm EDT, Mon August 9, 2010
HP accused of making a foolish decision
Oracle CEO Lawrence Ellison has criticized HP for ousting its chief executive, Mark Hurd, over allegations of sexual harassment. Ellison, a friend of Hurd's, sent an e-mail to the New York Times suggesting HP's board did not act in the best interest of shareholders and employees.
"The H.P. board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago," Ellison argued. "That decision nearly destroyed Apple and would have if Steve hadn't come back and saved them."
Ellison claims that HP's board initially was split six to four in discussions to determine if the company should disclose the sexual harassment claims. Hurd was said to have disagreed with the board's decision, as the inquiry determined the claims to be without merit.
The accuser, actress Jodie Fisher, reportedly settled the conflict with Hurd, although the dollar value remains undisclosed. Separate reports suggest Hurd received between $40 million and $50 million from HP, in return for a guarantee against pursuing any legal action against the former employer.