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Mike Lynch slams HP for Autonomy allegations

Autonomy founder lays into US firm
Wed Nov 28 2012, 10:02
Dr Mike Lynch is the founder of Autonomy

AUTONOMY FOUNDER and former CEO Mike Lynch has countered with a scathing attack on HP a week after HP CEO Meg Whitman claimed Autonomy falsified its accounts to inflate its worth.

HP's claims led the company to take an $8.8bn writedown on the acquisition of the UK firm after a whistleblower raised concerns over practices at Autonomy. HP said it would take all necessary action to recover whatever money it could.

Lynch strongly denied these accusations when they first came to light and in an open letter released on Tuesday called on the HP board to be more transparent regarding the specifics around the allegations.

"It was shocking that HP put non-specific but highly damaging allegations into the public domain without prior notification or contact with me, as former chief executive of Autonomy," he said.

"Having no details beyond the limited public information provided last week, and still with no further contact from you, I am writing today to ask you, the board of HP, for immediate and specific explanations for the allegations HP is making."

Lynch added that HP should provide him with "the interim report and any other documents" which the firm is said to have provided to the SEC and UK Serious Fraud Office rather than relying on gathering information second hand via the media.

He also outlined a number of key points he wants HP to clarify, including:

  • The publication of the calculations used to determine the $5bn impairment charge
  • Whether HP can confirm that no part of the $5 billion write down was, or should be, attributed to its "operational and financial mismanagement" of Autonomy since the acquisition?
  • The number of people employed by Autonomy in September 2011 that have left or resigned under the management of HP?
  • Why HP senior management apparently waited six months to inform its shareholders of the possibility of a material event related to Autonomy?

Lynch ended by voicing his despair with the way the acquisition of his firm has turned out.

"Autonomy joined forces with HP with real hopes for the future and in the belief that together there was an opportunity to make HP great again," he said.

"I have been truly saddened by the events of the past months, and am shocked and appalled by the events of the past week." µ


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