Oracle has hired private investigators to find out where in the world HP’s new CEO Leo Apotheker is hiding, Reuters reports.Apotheker officially reported for duty one week ago today, but he hasn’t made a single official public peep since taking the helm of the company. No interview, no profile in the Wall Street Journal, no column from the New York Times, nothing. Not even a press release from HP.
He’s hiding from Oracle, which wants to subpoena him, so he’ll appear in a court case involving SAP. Apotheker was co-CEO at SAP when SAP stole IP from Oracle. Larry Ellison says he has proof Apotheker knew about SAP’s theft.
HP doesn’t deny that it’s hiding Apotheker from Oracle. It just says Oracle is acting like bullies. Here’s HP’s official statement in response to Ellison, and the accusation:
“Oracle had ample opportunity to question Leo during his sworn deposition in October 2008 and chose not to include him as a live trial witness until he was named CEO of HP. Given Leo’s limited knowledge of and role in the matter, Oracle’s last-minute effort to require him to appear live at trial is no more than an effort to harass him and interfere with his duties and responsibilities as HP’s CEO.”
We’ve been asking HP employees if they’ve seen or heard from Apotheker. We know he was in Texas two weeks ago. One employee was “impressed” because Apotheker was walking around the cubicles introducing himself. He was touring other parts of the world, but nobody knew where he was last week when we asked.
It’s pretty wild Apotheker is hiding considering he’s taking over one of the biggest tech companies in the world. It’s especially wild because the previous CEO, Mark Hurd, crashed and burned in a massive scandal.
While HP’s stock has basically recovered since Hurd’s ouster, you would think Apotheker would want to assure investors everything is OK and he’s the man to lead the company. After all, HP’s stock tanked when Apotheker was announced as CEO.