Oracle and HP settle over Hurd

HP and Oracle have patched up their differences, and there's good news for Mark Hurd: he gets to keep his shiny new job.

Hurd, who left HP's employ under something of a cloud following accusations of accounting impropriety and sexual misconduct with an ex-softcore porn star - it's a long story - is now free to continue his new role at Oracle.

HP started legal proceedings against Oracle following Hurd's hiring, claiming that Hurd's knowledge of internal HP trade secrets would give Oracle an unfair advantage - but all that is water under the bridge, with HP announcing to the press that everything is well with the world once more.

Although the actual terms of the settlement are confidential, it's thought that Hurd is being made to return part of his $40 million leaving package, which HP gave him on the understanding that he'd go away quietly and stop making trouble.

HP's interim chief executive officer, and regular chief financial officer, Cathie Lesjak said that the agreement resolved an unfortunate bump in the two company's long and pally history: "HP and Oracle have been important partners for more than 20 years," she said in a prepared statement, "and are committed to working together to provide exceptional products and service to our customers."

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison was equally hopeful that the two companies would now play nicely together, stating that "Oracle and HP will continue to build and expand a partnership that has already lasted for over 25 years," disagreeing only on the total length of time the company's have been involved with one another.

The cessation of legal activity marks the end of one of the more bizarre employment stories of recent times, and will surely come as a relief to Hurd.