Follow-ups: HP’s Autonomy commitment, Twitter followers’ value

A couple of follow-ups to news involving Silicon Valley companies:

HP may think it was tricked when it bought British software maker Autonomy last year for more than $10 billion. (The Palo Alto company a couple of weeks ago announced an $8.8 billion charge on the acquisition. See HP shares sink on double whammy of huge writedown, falling sales.) But Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman reportedly said today at a Frankfurt conference that the company is “100 percent committed to Autonomy’s industry-leading technologies and its employees.” Whitman also stressed that for all the company’s problems as she tries to restore growth, it remains “quite profitable.”

Meanwhile, former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch has launched a website to rebut HP’s claims that the company engaged in funny accounting. In an open letter to HP published on the site, Lynch writes: “I utterly reject all allegations of impropriety.”

• And now we’re going way back: Last December, South Carolina-based PhoneDog sued former employee (and Oakland-based writer) Noah Kravitz over his thousands of Twitter followers, likening them to clients and seeking $340,000 in damages. (See Quoted: on the value of a Twitter account.) The case raised questions about the worth of Twitter followers.

Now the matter has been settled without answering those questions, according to CNet, which reports that Kravitz will get to keep his Twitter account and followers. At the time of the suit, his followers numbered 17,000; today he has more than 23,000. There is no comment so far from PhoneDog, whose suit seems to have backfired. “If anything good has come of this, I hope it’s that other employees and employers out there can recognize the importance of social media to companies and individuals both,” said Kravitz in a statement.


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