Autonomy Strikes Back

Back in 2011, HP acquired Autonomy, a UK-based enterprise software firm with big data expertise. The deal quickly went bad with HP alleging accounting improprieties and filing a $5 billion lawsuit against the smaller company’s former management team. Now former Autonomy CEO David Lynch has filed a $150 million dollar lawsuit of his own against HP, saying that the company has launched a “public smear campaign” against him which has ruined his reputation.

In papers related to the litigation, Lynch paints an unflattering picture of HP executives, saying that they “generally fought amongst themselves like cats in a sack.” He added, “While in the hands of a competent acquirer, the synergies on which HP based its valuation of Autonomy may have been achievable. HP, which had been beset by a series of disruptive boardroom scandals, management shake-ups, and failed mergers, was not competent to incorporate the business of Autonomy into its own.” The filing also includes interesting details about the handling of the merger and day-to-day operations at HP.

The Register is reporting that HP responded to the lawsuit with a statement that said, “Mike Lynch’s lawsuit is a laughable and desperate attempt to divert attention from the $5 billion lawsuit HP has filed and the ongoing criminal investigation. HP anxiously looks forward to the day Lynch and Hussain will be forced to answer for their actions in court.”

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