TECH
08/10/2010 08:28 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Larry Ellison, Oracle Chief, Blasts HP CEO Mark Hurd's 'Cowardly' Ouster

SAN FRANCISCO — Billionaire Larry Ellison is blasting Hewlett-Packard's decision to oust CEO Mark Hurd as cowardly and the worst personnel decision since Apple forced out Steve Jobs 25 years ago.

Ellison, Oracle's CEO and a friend of Hurd's, issued a statement Monday saying that the move to get rid of Hurd went against the best interests of HP's employees, shareholders, customers and partners. Oracle is one of those partners.

"The HP board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago," Ellison said in his statement. "That decision nearly destroyed Apple and would have if Steve hadn't come back and saved them."

HP's decision to go public with a sexual harassment claim against Hurd, even though a company investigation found no basis for the claim, was an act of "cowardly corporate political correctness" by a divided board of directors, Ellison says.

"In losing Mark Hurd, the HP board failed to act in the best interest of HP's employees, shareholders, customers and partners,"Ellison wrote, according to the New York Times. "The HP board admits that it fully investigated the sexual harassment claims against Mark and found them to be utterly false."

HP repeated that the board voted unanimously for Hurd's resignation.