Oracle CEO Larry Ellison says he can prove that HP’s new CEO Leo Apotheker was in on a plot to steal large amounts of Oracle software during his time at SAP.
Ellison says he’ll offer evidence at a trial set to start next Monday in a California Federal Court.
Oracle has accused SAP and its TomorrowNow subsidiary of stealing thousands of items of software, and is seeking billions of dollars in damages.
But while SAP has admitted to illegal downloads from an Oracle website, it claims that Apotheker moved to stop the illegal downloads as soon as he found out.
But Ellison is convinced this was not the case.
“A few weeks ago I accused HP’s new CEO, Leo Apotheker, of overseeing an industrial espionage scheme centering on the repeated theft of massive amounts of Oracle’s software. A major portion of this theft occurred while Mr Apotheker was CEO of SAP,” he says in a statement.
“HP’s chairman, Ray Lane, immediately came to Mr Apotheker’s defense by writing a letter stating, ‘Oracle has been litigating this case for years and has never offered any evidence that Mr Apotheker was involved.’ Well, that’s what we are planning to do.”
And Ellison is challenging HP to allow Apotheker to testify at the trial.
“I don’t think Ray Lane wants to risk Leo Apotheker testifying under oath as to why he allowed the theft of Oracle property to continue for eight months after he was made sole CEO of SAP,” he says.
“I hope I’m wrong, but my guess is that HP’s new chairman, Mr Lane, will keep HP’s new CEO, Mr Apotheker, far, far away from the courthouse until this trial is over.”