German software firm SAP says senior managers at its TomorrowNow subsidiary, which is embroiled in a corporate spying scandal involving arch rival Oracle, have resigned and it is now considering selling the Texas-based unit.
Oracle filed a lawsuit in March that accused TomorrowNow of hacking into its customer support systems and stealing its protected software. The suit names both SAP and TomorrowNow as defendants and accuses the firm of "corporate theft on a grand scale".
Oracle's suit claims that SAP employees used the log-ins of Oracle customers with expired or soon-to-expire support rights to download thousands of individual software and support materials. SAP then used this "storehouse" of stolen intellectual property to offer cut rate support services to Oracle customers in an attempt to "lure them" to its technology, the suit alleges.
In July SAP admitted that executives at the TomorrowNow unit carried out "inappropriate downloads" of protected documents belonging to Oracle but denied that it accessed the material itself.
In its latest statement, SAP says several senior managers of TomorrowNow, including the company's CEO Andrew Nelson, "have chosen to resign".
Mark White, who was appointed executive chairman of TomorrowNow in July, will continue in his role. SAP says that White is putting in place programmes to secure the delivery of continued support services and assure retention of key managers and support personnel at the unit.
In addition to cutting its ties with the executives involved in the Oracle dispute, SAP says it is considering "several options" for the future of the TomorrowNow business, including a "possible sale".
SAP is still actively defending against Oracle's lawsuit, which was filed in US District Court in San Francisco. Hearings are expected to resume early next year.