Finally The Truth On The Autonomy Purchase

January 27, 2013

The truth is out! After weeks of discussion going back and forth between Autonomy, HP, and everyone else in between Business Insider reports that, “Meg Whitman Admits That HP ‘Paid Too Much’ For Autonomy.” Meg Whitman is the CEO of HP and she has officially declared that her company paid $11 billion too much for the Autonomy mess, along with the Department of Justice investigation. While Whitman admitted the fiasco, she and the board do not take the blame; instead they have placed it with the Deloitte auditors. So the finger pointing continues.
For those of you who have not been following the news, in November 2012, HP said they were going to write off $8.8 billion of the $11 billion. Not a problem, until $5 billion of the write-off came with an “improper accounting” tag. Whitman stated in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal that the write down was worth 85% of the company.

Here is part of the interview:

“Murray: You had people doing do diligence at the time for the board?


Whitman: Absolutely. But we didn’t go in and question Deloitte and say, ‘Are you appropriately accounting for the revenues and the operating profits’?


Murray: What does it say more broadly about corporate governance? If the board can’t find an 85% hole –


Whitman: Alan, that’s not fair at all in my view. The company turned out to be smaller, slower growth and somewhat less profitable than we anticipated, but we’re still investing in Autonomy. We just announced yesterday that we’re hiring 50 more engineers in the meaning-based compute side of this.”


And let us begin another round of the blame game. Well, Autonomy was not my fault. It was the accounting firm! Yes. Evil accountants. Do these folks wear masks and black capes?


Whitney Grace, January 27, 2013

Sponsored by, developer of Beyond Search


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