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Oracle enlists private dick to sniff out HP boss

Larry Ellison stalks Leo Apotheker, says report

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Oracle has reportedly recruited private investigators to locate Hewlett-Packard boss Leo Apotheker.

According to a Reuters report that cited an anonymous source, Oracle is hoping get former SAP chief Apotheker to provide testimony in a court case in which Larry Ellison’s company is claiming $4bn in damages for software theft.

Apotheker’s CEO job at HP began last week, and the printer giant quickly dismissed Oracle’s subpoena and accused the database firm of harassing its new boss.

HP and Oracle declined to speak to Reuters, but the news agency did get a good, stirry quote from a SAP spokesman.

"The interest in Mr Apotheker on the part of Mr Ellison only happened recently, as a result of Leo's appointment to run HP," said the company’s Bill Wohl. "That recent interest speaks volumes about why it's important to them. The question is, does that at all have anything to do with this case?"

It’s unclear if Apotheker is overseas or in California currently.

On Monday Ellison was cross-examined by an SAP attorney during the ongoing legal spat between Oracle and its software rival.

Larry was grilled over claims that in pilfering Oracle intellectual property, SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow cost his company up to 30 per cent of PeopleSoft and 15 per cent of Siebel customers.

He said yesterday that his outfit was concerned that nearly $4bn worth of customer relationships were at risk because of TomorrowNow's actions. ®

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