Oracle enlists private dick to sniff out HP boss
Larry Ellison stalks Leo Apotheker, says report
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. ®
So if Apotheker ran a crooked enterprise, how come the US gave him a visa?
Ellison should acquire a 'friendly' senator to have an inquiry into whether Apotheker is an appropriate person to whom a visa should be issued.
At least they will be able to ascertain if Apotheker is in the US or not.
Apotheker is trying to prevent them serving the subpoena,
thus avoid appearing in court at all. Pleading the 5th only protects you from self-incrimination in LEGAL proceedings. If you are the CEO of a company that's not the sort of thing you want to be saying in court unless you are facing a long stay in The Big House. Saying it repeatedly is likely to cost you customers. The other part of the problem is that if Apotheker truthfully answers the question with "I don't know and was unaware of the actions until after the fact" (not asserting it is true, but even if you assume it to be true to explore a particular legal avenue) once he has answered that question, he is compelled to answer any other question put to him by the Oracle attorneys. There might be other dirt on Apotheker that is largely irrelevant to the case or his performance as CEO of HP but which might slip into the public eye once he is on the stand.
The point of the SAP quote is that many people (SAP, HP, El Reg, and me) think Ellison is using the courts to intimidate HP because he doesn't like what they did to his golfing bud and not because of anything he actually did, or anything he knows. Granted right now I don't have a lot of respect for HP as a company, but I would like them to have the chance to once again become the company I once respected. I see no such option for Ellison and Oracle since Ellison IS Oracle, much like Jobs IS Mac.
Ellison is starting to make Steve Ballmer look sane - and that takes some doing!!!