* Ellison chides board over Apotheker hire
* Oracle and SAP embroiled in long-running lawsuit
SAN FRANCISCO Oct 4 Oracle Corp ORCL.O chief
executive Larry Ellison chided Hewlett-Packard's board for hiring
Leo Apotheker, who was at the helm of SAP AG when the German
software company "confessed" to stealing Oracle's intellectual
Apotheker was picked to replace Mark Hurd as chief
executive of HP after the latter was forced out amid a scandal
involving a female contractor. Oracle and SAP have also been
embroiled in a contentious lawsuit dating back several years.
"SAP has already publicly confessed and accepted financial
responsibility for systematically stealing Oracle's
intellectual property over a long period of time," Ellison told
Reuters in an e-mail over the weekend.
"Much of this industrial espionage and intellectual
property theft occurred while Leo was CEO of SAP." Ellison
added. "The HP board must have been aware of these facts, yet
they appointed Leo CEO of HP anyway. What happened to 'the HP
HP declined to comment.
Ellison was an outspoken critic of HP after Hurd was
ousted. Oracle subsequently hired Hurd as a co-president. HP
then sued Hurd, saying that his employment by Oracle put the
company's trade secrets at risk. The case was settled last
Oracle software runs on server and storage hardware built
by HP. The companies have more than 140,000 shared customers.
Oracle, which competes with SAP in the market for software
that helps companies automate business functions, accused SAP
of gaining unauthorized access to its password-protected
customer support Web site. [ID:nN05228680]
Oracle said that access allowed SAP to copy thousands of
Oracle software products and other confidential materials.
In August, SAP said it would accept liability for copyright
infringement in the lawsuit. It conceded that "mistakes" were
made by its TomorrowNow subsidiary.
The lawsuit is scheduled for trial in November. The two
companies have not been able to reach agreement on
compensation. Oracle has said it may seek more than $1 billion
Shares of HP were down 0.6 percent at $40.52 on the New
York Stock Exchange, while shares of Oracle were down 0.6
percent at $27 on Nasdaq. The broader Nasdaq composite index
was down 1.3 percent in Monday's trading.
(Reporting by Gabriel Madway; Editing by Derek Caney)