Livermore Says HP-Oracle Relationship Remains Strong Despite Lawsuit Over Hurd


Hewlett-Packard executive Ann Livermore sought to downplay a recent spat between HP and Oracle over Oracle's hiring of former HP CEO Mark Hurd, using a keynote speech at Oracle OpenWorld Sunday to portray the HP-Oracle relationship as strong.

Livermore, executive vice president of HP's enterprise business, displayed a screen-full of statistics to illustrate the depth of the HP-Oracle partnership: HP and Oracle have 140,000 joint customers, HP supports more than 1 million Oracle software users, and 40 percent of Oracle software runs on HP hardware.

Oracle’s Anne Livermore
Ann Livermore Keynotes At Oracle OpenWorld

"I think the numbers tell the story," said Livermore, who has been mentioned as a possible successor to Hurd. She also noted that HP has 12,000 Oracle specialists throughout the company worldwide. "So certainly this is an area where HP has made a big investment," she said, before launching into a presentation about HP's offerings for data center modernization.

The relationship between Oracle and Hewlett-Packard turned rocky in recent weeks when HP sued Hurd charging that his appointment as Oracle president could cause "irreparable damage" to HP because he could use trade secrets to compete with his former company.

That led to a blistering press release in which Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said the suit threatened the relationship between the two companies.

"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," he said. "The HP board is making it virtually impossible for Oracle and HP to continue to cooperate and work together in the IT marketplace."

There had been little overlap between the HP and Oracle product lines until Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems in January for $7.3 billion. That's brought the two into closer competition in hardware servers and storage systems.