10 Lessons Learned from the HP-Oracle-SAP-NY Times Saga

What we've learned about Ellison, Apotheker, Hurd and others brawling in this high-stakes, Hollywood-style slugfest.

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6. HP CEO Apotheker is a combination of Mr. T, Chuck Norris and James Bond. We knew that Apotheker was fluent in five languages. But according to tech analyst Jason Maynard, quoted in Nocera's column, Apotheker is "as tough as nails and chews glass for breakfast." Hmmm. Maybe he didn't need his new chairman Lane to fight his battles for him by penning that nastygram to Nocera?

7. The New York Times is the place for unhappy tech execs to send their complaints. In this age of blogs, instantaneous Facebook updates and never-ending press releases, it appears that high-tech execs (Ellison, Lane, et. al) love nothing better than to pen a letter to the Gray Lady. How antiquated!

8. Charles Phillips is keeping a low, low profile. Phillips once-promising career at Oracle flat-lined in a New York Minute (see: Times Square billboard and the photos of him and a woman who was not his wife) and "retired" when Hurd joined Oracle. However, if the last month or so teaches us anything, it's that every tech exec can get a second chance (see: Hurd, Mark V.; Apotheker, Leo).

9. IBM: "Hey, what about us?!" During the HP-Oracle-SAP scrum, IBM has been sitting on the sidelines. Oh sure, CEO Samuel Palmisano took some shots at HP (and Hurd), then praised Oracle (and Ellison). Don't worry, Sam, Larry's coming after you, too. Which leads us to…

10. High-tech has become like Hollywood, with allegiances and partnerships changing with every new press release. Billions of dollars at stake can make for some strange bedfellows, your most bitter rival could be your next boss, and your enemies' enemies might just be your best friend. As Leo Apotheker would say, C'est la vie!

Thomas Wailgum covers Enterprise Software, Data Management and Personal Productivity Apps for CIO.com. Follow him on Twitter @twailgum. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline. E-mail Thomas at twailgum@cio.com.


Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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