updated 06:25 pm EDT, Wed September 8, 2010
HP tries to soften Oracle lawsuit blow
HP's temporary CEO Cathie Lesjak told those gathered at a Citigroup conference on Wednesday that she hoped to get back on friendly terms once finished with a divisive lawsuit against Mark Hurd. She saw it as inevitable that "business will prevail" and that both HP and Hurd's new employer, Oracle, needed each other. The company sued former CEO Hurd as he needed to be "reminded" of agreements preventing him from supplying trade secrets, she argued.
On the search for a full-time CEO, Lesjak said HP was "very pleased" with how the replacement process was moving. There were not only many candidates, but the interview process was moving along quickly. The interim chief hinted that the results of the search were better than expected and included a mix of those both inside and outside the company.
"There was some worry that there wouldn't be that many," she said. "That certainly hasn't been the issue."
Oracle has accused HP of being "vindictive" by filing a lawsuit and, through Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, has implied that HP is primarily jealous after having made a serious mistake by tossing aside one of its most successful leaders so quickly. Hurd had allegedly been caught violating business practices through a still mysterious involvement with a female contractor and of manipulating expenses to support and hide his behavior.