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SAP is Oracle's chief rival in the market for business applications and Ellison often takes digs at the Walldorf, Germany-based company. During one earnings call several years ago he famously referred to SAP several times by pronouncing "SAP" as a word, rather than as individual initials.
Oracle's hiring of Hurd prompted a lawsuit by HP against Hurd charging that the former CEO could use trade secrets in his new job to compete with HP and cause "irreparable damage."
Ellison responded in a blistering statement in which he threatened to end the longstanding relationship between Oracle and HP. "By filing this vindictive lawsuit against Oracle and Mark Hurd, the HP board is acting with utter disregard for that partnership, our joint customers, and their own shareholders and employees," Ellison said. "The HP board is making it virtually impossible for Oracle and HP to continue to cooperate and work together in the IT marketplace."
More recently, however, the HP-Oracle alliance seemed to be on the mend. HP executive Ann Livermore, who was herself said to be a candidate to replace Hurd, delivered a keynote speech at Oracle OpenWorld on Sept. 19 in which she said the partnership between the two companies was strong, citing a long list of statistics to illustrate the depth of the relationship including having 140,000 joint customers.
The next day HP and Oracle announced that the HP-Hurd lawsuit had been settled.
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