<%@ LANGUAGE=VBScript %> <% Set asplObj=Server.CreateObject("ASPL.Login") asplObj.Protect Set asplObj=Nothing %> An editorial on Silicon Valley lawsuits and other trivial pursuits (Nov 4, 2010)

Annex Bulletin 2010-16                            November 4, 2010

A partially OPEN edition

Recent...

 

Silicon Valley Rodeo (Editorial on shenanigans and costly trivial pursuits)

 

IBM Business Up, Stock Down (Analysis of Big Blue's third quarter business results)

EDITORIAL COMMENT

 

Updated 11/04/10, 10:00AM HIT

An Editorial on Silicon Valley Shenanigans and Expensive Trivial Pursuits

Silicon Valley Rodeo

Oracle Trying to Squeeze Sap Out of SAP and Lard Out of Hewlett-Packard in Latest Remake of "Four Horsemen of Apocalypse"

HAIKU, Maui, Nov 4 Silicon Valley has always been known for incestuous relationships among its top brass.  Executives play musical chairs and change positions almost as fast as cars or women.   But now it is also starting to look like a new source of soap opera comedies.

In "Silicon Valley Rodeo," the latest production of the Silicon Valley comedy central, "Larry the Bull(y)" [Larry Ellison, Oracle's chairman] is trying to rope "Leo the Pharmacist" [Leo Apotheker, former SAP chairman, now HP CEO] into a courtroom (see Oracle says HP won't accept subpoena for its CEO, Nov 3). 

Meanwhile, "Ray the Fast-Draw" Lane [Ray Lane, former Oracle president, now HP chairman] is trying to hide his bespectacled buddy in another ranch.

Why? 

Because Oracle's top cowboy is trying to squeeze the sap out of SAP and the lard out of Hewlett-Packard.  Oracle's major competitor (SAP) has admitted wrong-doing in a long-standing court battle and has offered to pay $120 million for Oracle's legal expenses (can you believe such amounts of shareholders' money being wasted on lawyers!?). 

Yet Larry the Bull(y) is still unimpressed.  He wants $2 billion.  So he continues in hot pursuit of Leo the Pharmacist.

As for Hewlett-Packard, Larry the Bull(y) has already herded in Mark Hurd, his tennis pal, from the HP coral, after the HP Board dismissed its former chairman/CEO last August amid charges of sexual harassment by one Jodie Fisher, a former soft porn actress turned entertainer in the HP Saloon (or was it HP Bordello? - see Do As I Say Not As I Do, Aug 2010).  Fisher & Hurd - surf and turf, HP's got it all.

Then came along Ray the Fast-Draw Lane.  He added fuel to the Oracle fire last month when he publicly accused Hurd of lying (see HP Chairman Ray Lane Calls Mark Hurd A Liar, Business Insider, Oct 12).  He wrote that in a letter to the New York Times, objecting to a column A Double Standard at H.P. (New York Times, Oct 8). 

For what it's worth, we've actually found the NY Times piece one of the most accurate depictions of the clowns on the HP Board who have made the world's largest IT company the laughing stock of the industry.

Never one lost for words, Larry the Bull(y) fired back:

Last month, Ellison accused Apotheker of engaging in an "industrial espionage scheme" while at SAP, and he called HP chairman Ray Lane a liar for defending the new HP boss.

"HP chairman Ray Lane has taken the position that Leo Apotheker is innocent of wrongdoing because he didn't know anything about the stealing going on at SAP while Leo was CEO. The most basic facts of the case show this to be an absurd lie," Ellison said in a statement.

"Leo knew all about the stealing. In fact, Leo did not stop the stealing until seven months after he became CEO. Why so long? We'd like to know. Ray Lane and the rest of the HP Board do not want anyone to know. That's the new HP Way with Ray in charge and Leo on the run. It's time to change the HP tagline from 'Invent' to 'Steal'."

(an excerpt from HP parries Ellison's 'industrial espionage' subpoenaHides new CEO... Nov 4, 2010, UK media)

As you can see, the stage is set for a remake of "Four Horsemen of Apocalypse."  You have the four tough riders - symbolizing conquest, war, famine and death, slayed enemies, a lion disguised as a calf on the run, a pretty dame, even a pharmacist... to mix it all up.  The latest Silicon Valley Comedy Central production is fixing to be a source of lots of laughs and snickers.  But also of pain to bewildered shareholders who are seeing their money go up in smoke up the legal chimney like cheap firewood.

These days, however, Wall Street seems to love comedy.  Take a look at that stock chart on the right.  The shares of all protagonists' in the latest Silicon Valley Rodeo are up.  Yes, even those of HP!?

Guess they are still also showing that old silent movie on Wall Street - "High Tide Lifts Most Boats, Even the Leaky Ones."  But "we've flogged that horse enough.  Let's get a new one," as President Eisenhower once said.

Happy bargain hunting!

Bob Djurdjevic

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Volume XXVI, Annex Bulletin 2010-16
November 4, 2010

Bob Djurdjevic, Editor
e-mail: annex@djurdjevic.com

(c) Copyright 2010 by Annex Research, Inc. All rights reserved.
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