Lynch stokes the fire as HP-Autonomy saga continues

By Sooraj Shah
01 Mar 2013 View Comments
miMike Lynch talks at London web summit

Mike Lynch, the former CEO of Autonomy, has stoked the fire against HP in his first on-stage interview since the war of words between his former company and its acquirers began.

Further reading

HP bought Lynch's company Autonomy in October 2011 for $11.1bn (£7bn), but after lacklustre sales Lynch left the firm, sparking a dispute between the companies.

Meg Whitman, HP's CEO, then alleged that an internal "whistle blower" came forward claiming that Autonomy had engaged in dubious accounting practices that had artificially inflated the sales growth of the company's software.

HP has since written down £5bn from Autonomy's value and Whitman vowed to pursue compensation for HP through the civil courts, as well as involving both the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in the UK and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement division in the US.

Meanwhile, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) this month launched an investigation into Autonomy's published financial results for the 18-month period before HP bought out the data governance firm.

Speaking at the London Web Summit today, Lynch said: "I've heard absolutely nothing. We have not heard anything from HP or any of the other bodies; the only thing is the FRC are going to look at it, but otherwise we're just sitting there.

"On my website, I've demanded for HP to back this up. It is amazing that someone can arrange a whole series of interviews and say stuff without backing it up. We knew nothing about it ahead of time – I don't know what they thought was going on."

Lynch, who is believed to have netted around £500m from the company's sale, added that Deloitte is happy with the transaction.

Addressing many tech start-ups at the Summit, Lynch said that as soon as a company is made public its management has no control over whether the company gets sold. In Autonomy's case, the former CEO suggested it was inevitable.

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