“We refuse to be a scapegoat for HP’s own failings.”
— Mike Lynch, Autonomy founder and former CEO, in an open letter released today, the morning of Hewlett-Packard‘s annual shareholder meeting — where, as the Merc’s Steve Johnson reports, five of its 11 board members are being targeted for removal. Lynch has fought back against HP’s accusations that the British software company lied about its finances before being bought by HP for more than $10 billion in 2011. In November, HP wrote down $8.8 billion related to that purchase, and CEO Meg Whitman announced that the PC maker had asked U.S. and British authorities to investigate Autonomy. (Investigations are under way.) A “shocked and appalled” Lynch then asked HP to explain why it seems to have misunderstood Autonomy’s value when it bought it, and to share its calculations. He continues to ask those same questions in today’s letter, in which he accuses HP of mismanaging Autonomy after buying it. Meanwhile, big investors such as CalPERS and influential shareholder advisory firms are recommending against the re-election of five HP board members, including Executive Chairman Ray Lane, who are being blamed for squandering money on acquisitions. Also last year, HP wrote down $8 billion related to its $13.9 billion purchase of Electronic Data Systems in 2008.
(File photo by Autonomy)