Hurd set to speak at Oracle OpenWorld

Despite acrimony between the companies, HP's Ann Livermore remains on the agenda

Oracle's newly minted co-president, Mark Hurd, is set to deliver a keynote speech at the vendor's OpenWorld conference on 20 September, in what could be the former Hewlett-Packard CEO's first high-profile appearance since leaving that company in August.

No description of Hurd's speech was available Friday, but it seems likely that he will spell out a vision for selling integrated systems combining Oracle's software and hardware gained from the acquisition of Sun Microsystems. That strategy revolves around Oracle's Exadata database machine, which can handle both data warehousing and transaction processing.

Oracle has indicated that a wide array of its software will be delivered on the Exadata platform, and that some new products will be showcased at OpenWorld.

Hurd's appointment, announced earlier this week, followed his departure from HP after a scandal involving an undisclosed relationship with a contractor and alleged improprieties with expense reports. He replaced co-president Charles Phillips, and will head up sales, marketing and support for Oracle.

HP has filed a lawsuit against Hurd, claiming he cannot perform his duties at Oracle without violating the confidentiality agreement in his severance package.

The suit has strained Oracle and HP's long-standing partnership. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison fired off a heated statement in response to the HP suit, calling it "vindictive" and saying HP's board "is making it virtually impossible" for the companies to continue working together.

But the bridge isn't completely burned yet. As of early Friday, HP executive vice president Ann Livermore was still scheduled to deliver a keynote at OpenWorld on 19 September.

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Chris Kanaracus

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