HP Sues Former Channel Chief Over Alleged Theft Of Company Documents: Report


Hewlett-Packard has reportedly sued former channel chief Adrian Jones, charging that he stole proprietary information about HP products and customers before leaving to take a job with arch rival Oracle last month.

The lawsuit is the latest salvo in what has become an ugly tit-for-tat series of disputes between HP and Oracle.

The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of California, Santa Clara County, charges that Jones stole documents and e-mails on a USB device containing "proprietary and valuable information" about HP's products and customers, according to a Reuters story. The suit demands the return of all documents and calls for the awarding of unspecified damages.

An Oracle spokeswoman said the company declined to comment on the reported lawsuit.

In the suit HP said it was about to fire Jones in February after an investigation into his relationship with a subordinate and spurious expense claims, according to the Reuters story. Jones was senior vice president of enterprise storage, servers and networking for HP Asia Pacific at the time of his departure.

Jones served as HP Americas channel chief from March 2007 to October 2009 before taking the Asia Pacific job.

Last month Jones took on the post of senior vice president of Asia Pacific/Japan at Oracle, reuniting him with Mark Hurd, the former HP CEO who was appointed Oracle president in September.

Hurd resigned from HP in August after he was found to be in violation of the company's Standards of Business Conduct.

In an echo of its lawsuit against Jones, HP sued Hurd right after he took the Oracle post, charging that he could use HP trade secrets in his new job to compete against HP. That led to a series of blistering responses from Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. The two companies settled that suit a few weeks later.

The lawsuit against Jones is the latest twist in the deteriorating relationship between one-time allies Oracle and HP. The tension began after Oracle acquired Sun Microsoft in January 2010, bringing it into direct competition with HP and its computer hardware products.

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