HP has not been able to innovate or hold on to talent in recent years, according to former Autonomy boss Mike Lynch.
Lynch, who was in charge of Autonomy when it was sold to HP in October 2011 for $11.1bn (£7bn), left the HP Autonomy division after lacklustre sales. This sparked a major dispute between HP and senior figures at Autonomy and was followed by HP reporting Autonomy to the authorities over what it called "accounting irregularities", and writing down $8.8bn (£5.9bn) from its value.
Speaking at the Global Grand Challenges Summit in London, the former Autonomy chief took a swipe at HP's current state, comparing it to the days when it was led by its co-founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, the Telegraph reported.
"Hewlett-Packard was [once] a company built on innovation, with Mr Hewlett and Mr Packard. They produced an amazing company. But what we have seen in recent years is that they've been challenged in doing that, especially in the areas like software," he said.
"Innovation is the very reason the [HP-Autonomy] acquisition was done. Autonomy was able to innovate in a way that Hewlett-Packard was not," he added.
A spokesman for HP responded by stating: "Mr Lynch has made these criticisms repeatedly since accounting improprieties at Autonomy under his leadership were reported, and Mr Lynch was dismissed from HP for performance-based reasons. Innovation is at the heart of HP, evidenced by the company's leadership in almost every market it serves."
Indeed HP's Action Plan, which it released in 2012 as part of CEO Meg Whitman's four-year restructuring programme, is splattered with the term "innovation".
But Ovum analyst Tim Jennings believes that HP and innovation are no longer synonymous, unlike a decade ago.
"One of the sad things is that HP had such an innovative culture. Ten years ago, HP's DNA was innovation," he told Computing.
Jennings also said that the HP-Autonomy case could be affecting Autonomy's reputation.
"It has slightly poisoned the brand and I think that enterprises are now putting a question mark over Autonomy's technology," he said.
But Lynch rejected those claims and said that Autonomy would "prove itself over time".
He went on to claim that HP has struggled to retain skilled employees.
"They haven't been able to hold on to talent, which is one thing they haven't talked about. When they have done acquisitions like Fortify and Autonomy people have left, and that's difficult," he said.
While HP may be struggling to keep hold of talent, it is also axing eight per cent of its global workforce or 27,000 jobs by 2014, in what it called a "productivity initiative".
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