Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

When Larry Ellison Met Marc Andreessen–A Silicon Valley Settlement Story (Plus Mark Hurd Returns Some Dough!)

According to multiple sources, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison (pictured right) approached Hewlett-Packard board member Marc Andreessen (pictured left) to help broker a settlement between the companies.

While details are sketchy, sources said the often-obstreperous tech billionaire approached Andreessen to make peace, after a lot of public razzing of HP (HPQ).

Andreessen is a more-recent addition to the HP board and has become a Silicon Valley statesman of a sort since his earlier days as its resident bad-boy wunderkind.

In addition, regulatory filings show that former HP CEO Mark Hurd, whom the board was suing for moving to a job at Oracle (ORCL) after a controversial departure, returned stock to the company in exchange for the settlement announced earlier today.

BoomTown is delighted HP took my advice!

As I wrote last week about the need for a quick settlement after all the mess created when Hurd left HP after a sexual harassment claim morphed into a bizarre Silicon Valley soap opera:

“But perhaps–after all this mishegas–it is precisely what the tech giant should do, focusing instead on finding a new leader to compete with challenges from companies such as, well…Oracle.”

From the 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission by HP:

On September 20, 2010, Hewlett-Packard Company (“HP”) announced that it had resolved litigation commenced on September 7, 2010 against Mark V. Hurd, HP’s former Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer and President, for alleged breach of contract and threatened misappropriation of trade secrets in connection with Mr. Hurd’s employment with Oracle Corporation. As part of that resolution, HP and Mr. Hurd agreed to modify the terms of the Separation Agreement and Release entered into between them on August 6, 2010 (the “Separation Agreement”), a copy of which was filed as Exhibit 10.1 to a Current Report on Form 8-K filed by HP with the Securities and Exchange Commission on that same date. Under the terms of the modification, Mr. Hurd has agreed to waive his rights to the 330,177 performance-based restricted stock units granted to Mr. Hurd in January 17, 2008 referenced in paragraph 2.d. of the Separation Agreement and to the 15,853 time-based restricted stock units granted to Mr. Hurd on December 11, 2009 referenced in paragraph 2.e. of the Separation Agreement, which collectively represent the only remaining compensation that Mr. Hurd was entitled to receive under the terms of the Separation Agreement. The terms of the Separation Agreement have not otherwise been modified.