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Hurd, HP settle

They may not actually have kissed and made up, but Hewlett-Packard and its former CEO settled a lawsuit Monday. HP sued Mark Hurd after he accepted the co-presidency of Oracle Corp. just weeks after being ousted from HP.

 HP announced the settlement, but not the terms, today. Speculation is that Hurd will return a good chunk of the severance HP paid him.

Hurd was ousted by HP on August 6 and hired by Oracle on September 7. And from there things really got nasty. HP sued Hurd; Ellison took HP to task for that. And, given that HP is a traditional huge sponsor of Oracle OpenWorld and that Hurd had been slated to speak at Oracle OpenWorld as top-HP dog, everyone was waiting for the show.

When Hurd greeted Oracle/Sun partners on Sunday afternoon, one VAR whispered that he could not believe Oracle hired him, given the circumstances of his embarrassing exit from HP. “See what sexual harassement gets you,” he sniped.  But another commentator said Ellison–who always enjoys a good public rumble–probably hired Hurd mostly to tweak HP.

On Monday, HP also “reaffirmed” its partnership with Oracle. The two IT powers share some 140,000 joint customers. And HP, don’t forget, was the original hardware partner when Oracle launched the firest Exadata two years ago. Last year, HP’s gear was supplanted by Sun-labelled hardware (albeit not any running Sparc and Solaris) for Exadata 2.  Awkward!!

The Hurd drama lent an odd tension to last night’s Oracle OpenWorld 2010 keynotes by HP executive vice presidents Ann Livermore and Dave Donatelli. 

Both stressed the ability of HP’s converged data center hardware to boost application performance and productivity. Minutes later Oracle CEO Larry Ellison came out to flog the hell out of Exalogic, the latest Oracle data center appliance. What will Exalogic do when it shows up? It will consolidate applications and boost he heck out of their performance.

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